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Article

Peyton Skipwith

(b London, April 14, 1863; d London, Nov 27, 1933).

English decorative artist and painter. He was articled to an architect and studied at Westminster School of Art under Frederick Brown and at the Royal Academy Schools. Later he worked in the studio of Aimé Morot in Paris and travelled to Italy. Bell belonged to the group of artist–craftsmen who brought about the last flowering of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. He painted in oil and watercolour and was among the pioneers of the revival of the use of tempera. He was an illustrator and also worked in stained glass and mosaic. He is best known for a series of bas-reliefs in coloured plaster, a group of which was used in the interior decoration at Le Bois de Moutiers, a house in Varengeville, Normandy, designed by Edwin Lutyens in 1898. Bell’s understanding of early Italian art underpinned his work in mosaic, a medium he used to great effect in three public commissions in London: the ...

Article

Christopher Newall

(b Bloomsbury, London, Sept 24, 1826; d Chelsea, London, Feb 9, 1897).

English painter. He was the son of a prosperous wine merchant and pawnbroker. His childhood was spent in London, and in 1846 he was apprenticed to the firm of architects Wyatt & Brandon, where he remained for three years. He was always fascinated by ancient buildings but gradually lost interest in architecture as a career. In 1849, perhaps as a result of meeting David Cox at Betws-y-Coed (Gwynedd, Wales), he decided to become a painter. In the early 1850s Boyce drew landscape and architectural subjects with a fluent watercolour technique derived from Cox. In 1854 Boyce made an extended journey to Italy; he painted views of buildings in Venice and Verona, which were commended by Ruskin, and semi-abstract twilight studies, which anticipate Whistler’s nocturnes.

Towards the end of the 1850s Boyce adopted a technique of minute detail and bright colour; various watercolours of this period, such as the Mill on the Thames at Mapledurham...

Article

British, 19th century, female.

Born 1823; died 1897.

Painter. Figures, portraits.

Symbolism.

Alice Boyd was living at Penkill Castle in Ayrshire when she met the Pre-Raphaelite painter William Bell Scott in 1859. She became his pupil and mistress. This attachment continued until the death of Bell Scott. They were close to Dante Gabriel Rossetti....

Article

David Cordingly

(b Bletchingley, Surrey, Dec 8, 1831; d London, Jan 7, 1902).

English painter. His father was an army veterinary surgeon attached to the 12th Lancers; for the first 15 years of Brett’s life, his family followed the regiment, and when his father was permanently stationed at Maidstone they settled in the nearby village of Detling. During these early years Brett showed an equal enthusiasm for astronomy and painting, but in 1851 he received some drawing lessons from J. D. Harding and noted in his diary, ‘From this circumstance I may date the commencement of my real education in art’.

Harding introduced Brett to Richard Redgrave, who set him to draw casts in the British Museum, and in 1853 he became a student in the Royal Academy Schools. However, it is clear from Brett’s diary that John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites had a more profound effect on his art than did the instruction in the Schools. He read Ruskin’s pamphlet on Pre-Raphaelitism in ...

Article

British, 19th century, male.

Born 1830, in Bletchingley; died 1902, in Putney.

Painter, watercolourist. Animals, seascapes, landscapes, portraits.

John Edward Brett was a follower of the Pre-Raphaelite School. His work before 1870 showed its influence. In 1858, he visited the region of Val d'Aosta and settled at the castle of St Peter in Villeneuve. Here he received a visit from Ruskin, of whom he was a great admirer. During his stay in the Val d'Aosta, he painted a great number of landscapes, notably of the Dora Baltac Valley....

Article

British, 19th century, female.

Born 1829, in Ireland; died 1882.

Painter. Portraits, landscapes.

Pre-Raphaelite.

Rosa Brett grew up in Dublin before moving with her family to Kent where she remained for the rest of her life. She painted landscapes in the area with her brother John Brett, a celebrated Pre-Raphaelite painter. She exhibited at the Royal Academy in London ...

Article

British, 19th – 20th century, female.

Born 11 November 1850; died 1927.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtswoman (mixed media).

Symbolism.

Pre-Raphaelite.

Catherine Madox Brown studied painting with her father, Ford Madox Brown, as did her sister Lucy and her brother Oliver, and she very soon began exhibiting her work at the Royal Academy, the Dudley Gallery and at other venues in London in ...

Article

British, 19th century, male.

Born 16 April 1821, in Calais, France, to British parents; died October 1893, in London.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman. Religious subjects, portraits.

Symbolism.

Pre-Raphaelite (forerunner).

Ford Madox Brown's father, a senior officer on half pay in the British navy, settled on the continent. The boy showed a talent for drawing from his early youth. He was to work in many European towns including Bruges, Ghent and particularly Antwerp where he became the pupil of Baron Wappers, who had studied with David. The early years of Brown's career were interrupted by the deaths of first his mother, then one of his sisters. This was followed by his father falling ill and needing much care from his son. The state of health of Brown's new young wife was subsequently to cause him further anxiety. They left Paris, where Brown had been living for four years, for the warmer climate of Italy but less than a year later, in 1845, his wife, who felt lost and unhappy in Italy, wished to return to Calais. She died in the carriage as it crossed Paris....

Article

Mary Bennett

(b Calais, April 16, 1821; d London, Oct 6, 1893).

English painter and designer.

The son of a retired ship’s purser who had settled at Calais, Brown received an academic training under Albert Gregorius (1774–1853) at Bruges, under Pieter van Hanselaere (1786–1862) at Ghent and under Baron Gustaf Wappers at the Academie in Antwerp (1837–9). He moved to Paris in 1840, married the following year and studied independently of the ateliers, concentrating on works by Rembrandt and the Spanish masters in the Orléans Collection, then in the Louvre.

Among contemporary French painters Brown particularly admired Eugène Delacroix and Paul Delaroche. He experimented with an eclectic style marked by strong chiaroscuro and dark tones created with bitumen. His primary concern for dramatic gesture and facial expressiveness characterized all later changes of style and received most criticism. His subjects included romantic themes from English history, for example Mary Queen of Scots (exh. Salon 1842; untraced, sketch in U. Manchester, Whitworth A.G.), and several from Byron including ...

Article

British, 19th century, female.

Born 1943, in Paris, France; died 1894, in San Remo, Italy.

Painter. Genre scenes.

Symbolism.

Pre-Raphaelite.

Lucy Madox Brown was the daughter of Ford Madox Brown and sister of Catherine and Oliver. She exhibited work between 1869 and 1872 in London, showing one of her works at the Royal Academy. In ...

Article

British, 19th – 20th century, female.

Active in Birmingham.

Born 1858; died 1927.

Painter. Genre scenes.

Pre-Raphaelite.

Kate Elizabeth Bunce studied at Birmingham School of Art and went on to exhibit her work at the Royal Academy in London from 1887 until 1901. She was a member of the Birmingham Society of Artists....

Article

John Christian

(Coley)

(b Birmingham, Aug 28, 1833; d London, June 17, 1898).

English painter and decorative artist. He was the leading figure in the second phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. His paintings of subjects from medieval legend and Classical mythology and his designs for stained glass, tapestry and many other media played an important part in the Aesthetic Movement and the history of international Symbolism.

He was the only surviving child of Edward Richard Jones, who ran a small carving and gilding business in the centre of Birmingham, and Elizabeth Coley, the daughter of a prosperous jeweller. Christened Edward Coley Burne Jones, he was called simply Edward Jones until c. 1860 when he adopted the surname Burne-Jones. From an early age he drew prolifically but with little guidance and no intention of becoming an artist. In 1844 he entered the local grammar school, King Edward’s, destined for a career in engineering. It was probably in this connection that in 1848 he attended evening classes at the Birmingham School of Design. By the time he left school in ...

Article

British, 19th century, male.

Born 28 August 1833, in Birmingham, England; died 17 June 1898, in Fulham (London), England.

Painter, decorative artist, draughtsman, watercolourist, illustrator. Figures, scenes with figures. Designs for tapestries, designs for stained glass, designs for mosaics.

Symbolism.

Pre-Raphaelite.

The son of Edward Richard Jones and Elisabeth Coley, Edward Burne-Jones began to prepare for a career in the church and enrolled as a theology student at Exeter College, Oxford, where a fellow pupil was William Morris. However, his sight of a drawing by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, an illustration for William Allingham’s ...

Article

Irish, 19th century, male.

Active in England.

Born 1816, in Mungret (Limerick); died March 1900, in Kensington (London).

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman. Portraits, genre scenes, landscapes.

Symbolism.

Pre-Raphaelite (related to).

Burton studied under Brocas at the Royal Dublin Society School. At the age of 21, he was made an associate member of the Royal Hibernian society and, at 23, a full member. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1842. He showed work at the Society of Painters in Watercolours in 1855 and 1856. He retired from the society in 1870, but was made an honorary member (along with Burne-Jones) in 1888. For twenty years, he was the director of the National Gallery in London, having succeeded Boxall in 1874. From 1851, he travelled a good deal, visiting Germany and other European countries to study the works of the great masters. As a painter, he was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites....

Article

British, 19th century, female.

Born 1855, in Lambeth, London; died after 1918.

Painter, watercolourist. Figures, portraits.

Symbolism.

Pre-Raphaelite (related to).

Alice May Chambers' paintings show the strong influence of the Pre-Raphaelites and their titles suggest particularly Rossetti, Holman Hunt and Burne-Jones. Her works include: Cydippe...

Article

British, 19th century, male.

Born c. 1825, in Mansfield; died 1881.

Painter, draughtsman. History painting, genre scenes.

Symbolism.

Pre-Raphaelite.

James Collinson was a pupil at the Royal Academy. Around 1849, he joined the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, an association of seven artists of whom five were painters. He painted his masterpiece, a scene from the life of ...

Article

Jenny Elkan

(b Mansfield, May 9, 1825; d London, Jan 24, 1881).

English painter. He was the son of a Nottinghamshire bookseller. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools, London, where he was a fellow student of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt. Although quiet and unobtrusive, he caught the attention of critics when he exhibited the Charity Boy’s Début at the Royal Academy in 1847 (sold London, Christie’s, 26 Oct 1979, lot 256). The painting was praised for its truthfulness and use of minute detail. It was admired by Rossetti, who sought out Collinson and befriended him. The following year saw the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB), which Rossetti invited Collinson to join. Around this date Collinson renounced Catholicism and became engaged to Christina Rossetti; possibly this influenced the other members of the PRB in favour of his election to their number. However, he was never a leading member of the Brotherhood.

Of Collinson’s known work, little is in the style of the Pre-Raphaelites; rather, his genre scenes were compared to those of David Wilkie. His subject-matter was usually anecdotal rather than serious, but his bright colours and careful detail allied him with the Pre-Raphaelites. The painting closest to works by other members of the PRB was the ...

Article

Christopher Newall

(b Liverpool, Aug 15, 1845; d Horsham, W. Sussex, March 14, 1915).

English painter, illustrator, designer, writer and teacher. He showed artistic inclinations as a boy and was encouraged to draw by his father, the portrait painter and miniaturist Thomas Crane (1808–59). A series of illustrations to Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott (Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib.) was shown first to Ruskin, who praised the use of colour, and then to the engraver William James Linton, to whom Crane was apprenticed in 1859. From 1859 to 1862 Crane learnt a technique of exact and economical draughtsmanship on woodblocks. His early illustrative works included vignette wood-engravings for John R. Capel Wise’s The New Forest: Its History and its Scenery (1862).

During the mid-1860s Crane evolved his own style of children’s book illustration. These so-called ‘toy books’, printed in colour by Edmund Evans, included The History of Jenny Wren and The Fairy Ship. Crane introduced new levels of artistic sophistication to the art of illustration: after ...

Article

Mary Bennett

(b Dublin, 1812; d London, April 22, 1873).

Irish painter. He was trained in Dublin and exhibited portraits at the Royal Hibernian Academy from 1833 to 1835. He was in Sheffield in 1837 and by 1846 was in Liverpool, probably drawn there by the flourishing Liverpool Academy. He exhibited at the Academy from 1842 to 1844, became a Member in 1853 and Professor of drawing from 1856 to 1859. He also exhibited at the Royal Academy in London (1851–72) and at the Liverpool Autumn Exhibition (1871–3). He turned from figure and still-life subjects of game to landscape painting c. 1853, probably persuaded by his chief patron, John Miller, and influenced by the Liverpool landscape painter Robert Tonge (1823–56) and later by the Pre-Raphaelites. During the late 1850s Davis was a member of the Hogarth Club in London.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti admired Davis’s first landscape exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1855 (untraced) and alerted Ruskin, who judged it merely as ‘good Pre-Raphaelite work’, and found Davis’s subjects, which were never obvious views, without interest. The paintings were usually small and recorded the north-west of England, and occasionally Ireland, (e.g. Liverpool, Walker A.G.) either in wide-sweeping depth or by close-up confrontation of duck-pond, windmill or cornfield, and effective use was made of a high horizon. Davis’s fluid technique tightened under the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites (sometimes becoming over-spotty), and his colour brightened....

Article

Jenny Elkan

(b Charlottesville, VA, Oct 1, 1827; d London, Feb 2, 1854).

English painter. Although not a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB), he was a close friend of the Pre-Raphaelites and during his short career was greatly influenced by their artistic principles and practices. His father placed him in a solicitor’s office in Westminster, London, but he was permitted to give up studying law in favour of painting in 1844. He first trained at Henry Sass’s Academy, where he met Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who became his mentor and friend. In 1846 he entered the Royal Academy Schools, where his fellow students included John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt. Deverell was reputedly very popular: William Michael Rossetti recalled that ‘If there was one man who, more than others, could be called the “pet” of the whole circle, it was Deverell’.

In 1848 Deverell was appointed Assistant Master of the Government School of Design at Somerset House, where his father was Secretary. The same year he joined Millais, Rossetti, Hunt and others in forming the Cyclographic Society, whose members produced drawings for mutual criticism at weekly meetings. Although he had exhibited at the Royal Academy in ...