Wontner was an Orientalist painter who followed the neo-classical movement in England, of which Lawrence Alma - Tadema was the forerunner. Wontner enjoyed painting seductive women in classical or oriental surroundings.
William Clarke Wontner was aquainted with the family of John William Godward and when Godward exhibited early drawing skills, his family allowed their son to study at least rendering and graining with Wontner on a recreational basis in the evenings. William Clarke Wontner and John William Godward became lifelong friends.
From 1879, Wontner exhibited his paintings at the Royal Academy, the Society of British Artists and the Institute of Painters in Watercolour. Wontner was very talented in portraying women in the Orientalist Style. Wontner continued to paint until his death.