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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

British, 19th century, male.

Born 24 March 1834, in Walthamstow (Essex); died 3 October 1896, at Kelmscott House, Hammersmith, London.

Painter, draughtsman, designer, typographer, poet, architect. Designs (furniture/wallpapers/fabrics/stained glass windows).

Symbolism, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau.

Pre-Raphaelite.

William Morris the son of a successful City of London bill-broker, grew up in Walthamstow, on the edge of Epping Forest, and was educated at Marlborough College, in Wiltshire....

Article

Peter Stansky

(b Walthamstow [now in London], March 24, 1834; d London, Oct 3, 1896).

English designer, writer and activist. His importance as both a designer and propagandist for the arts cannot easily be overestimated, and his influence has continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. He was a committed Socialist whose aim was that, as in the Middle Ages, art should be for the people and by the people, a view expressed in several of his writings. After abandoning his training as an architect, he studied painting among members of the Pre-Raphaelites. In 1861 he founded his own firm, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (from 1875 Morris & Co.), which produced stained glass, furniture, wallpaper and fabrics (see §3 below). Morris’s interests constantly led him into new activities such as his last enterprise, the Kelmscott Press (see §5 below). In 1950 his home at Walthamstow became the William Morris Gallery. The William Morris Society was founded in 1956, and it publishes a biannual journal and quarterly newsletter....

Article

Judith A. Neiswander

(b London, Nov 19, 1820; d London, Dec 2, 1902).

English designer, painter and writer. Born to an aristocratic family and educated at Eton College, Eton, Berks, and Christ Church, Oxford, he spent a brief period as an Anglican clergyman under the inspiration of the evangelical Oxford movement. In 1850 he designed and painted the ceiling of Merton College Chapel, Oxford (in situ), and shortly afterwards converted to Roman Catholicism. In 1854–6, while teaching at the Catholic University, Dublin, he designed and decorated the University Church in a richly ornamented Byzantine Revival style (see Newman, Cardinal John Henry). In Ireland he met Benjamin Woodward, architect of the Oxford Union Society, and through him became involved with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other Pre-Raphaelite artists in painting the ill-fated wall frescoes (1857) in the Debating Hall (now the Old Library) that are now scarcely recognizable. Most of his domestic commissions evolved from his connections with the Catholic aristocracy, for example his decoration for the library of Blickling Hall, Alysham (...

Article

Dinah Birch

(b London, Feb 8, 1819; d Brantwood, Cumbria, Jan 20, 1900).

English writer, draughtsman, painter and collector. He was one of the most influential voices in the art world of the 19th century. His early writings, eloquent in their advocation of J(oseph) M(allord) W(illiam) Turner and Pre-Raphaelitism and their enthusiasm for medieval Gothic, had a major impact on contemporary views of painting and architecture. His later and more controversial works focused attention on the relation between art and politics and were bitter in their condemnation of what he saw as the mechanistic materialism of his age.

Ruskin was the only child of prosperous Scottish parents living in London: his father was a wine merchant, his mother a spirited Evangelical devoted to her husband and son. Ruskin had a sequestered but happy childhood. He became an accomplished draughtsman (taught by Copley Fielding and James Duffield Harding) and acquired, through engravings encountered in Samuel Rogers’s poem Italy (1830), an early enthusiasm for Turner’s art. He was also an eager student of natural science, particularly geology. He travelled with his parents, seeing Venice for the first time in ...

Article

(Eleanor)

(b London, July 25, 1829; d London, Feb 11, 1862).

English painter, Model and poet. She was introduced to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood by Walter Howell Deverell. On seeing her working in a milliner’s shop in 1849, he was apparently struck by her fine and unusual appearance and asked her to model for him. She agreed and posed for the figure of Viola in his painting Twelfth Night (1849–50; London, Forbes Mag. Col.). She next modelled for William Holman Hunt, appearing in a number of his paintings dating from 1850, and then for John Everett Millais’s Ophelia (1852; London, Tate). By 1852 she had met Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and by the end of the year she sat only to him.

Siddal took up drawing and painting in 1852 while in close association with the Pre-Raphaelites and concentrated on medieval literary themes and portraits. She often worked closely with Rossetti, whom she married in 1860. Her early works were mainly illustrations to poems by Tennyson, such as ...

Article

Dianne Sachko Macleod

(b London, Oct 10, 1828; d Hammersmith, London, March 9, 1907).

English critic and painter. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools, London, from 1844 and was a founder-member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848. He modelled for works by fellow Pre-Raphaelites, such as John Everett Millais’s Ferdinand Lured by Ariel (1849; Makins priv. col.), and contributed articles to The Germ. His attempts at painting are awkward and works such as the unfinished Morte d’Arthur (1850–5; London, Tate) display difficulty with perspective. He abandoned painting in the late 1850s and attempted to destroy all of his works; only five paintings (all London, Tate) and one drawing (Oxford, Ashmolean) survive. Thereafter, although he taught drawing at University College School (1870–1902), he made his living from writing.

Stephens was the chief art critic of the Athenaeum until 1901, when he was replaced by Roger Fry. His reviews advanced the cause of contemporary British art by encouraging middle-class patronage and the dissemination of inexpensive prints. Initially his reviews were biased in favour of his former Pre-Raphaelite colleagues; however, by the 1880s he was more objective about the success of his friends....

Article

British, 19th century, male.

Born 1828, in Aberdeen; died 1907, in London.

Painter, art writer.

Symbolism.

Pre-Raphaelite.

Frederick George Stephens entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1844 where he met John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt. He belonged to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and often served as a model for the other artists' work, featuring in Millais' ...

Article

T. A. J. Burnett

(b London, April 5, 1837; d London, April 10, 1909).

English poet and critic. His letters and critical writings reveal him as unusually learned about, and sensitive to, the visual arts. His interest in painting was stimulated in 1857 when he met Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris at Oxford and, under their influence, adopted Pre-Raphaelite ideals. The effect on his poetry was transitory, but it was important for his prose and criticism. His Poems and Ballads (London, 1866), revolutionary in technique and in emphasis on erotic subject-matter, caused a sensation. William Blake (1868), an influential work of Victorian art criticism and Swinburne’s most important contribution in that field, not only promoted Blake’s re-evaluation but was also a powerful manifesto of Art for Art’s Sake and of Symbolist Aestheticism. For Swinburne the only correct response to a work of art was another work of art; hence his poetic, impressionistic and highly subjective prose criticism, with many synaesthetic comparisons (in ...

Article

Jenny Elkan

(b London, Feb 21, 1830; d Croydon, Surrey, Dec 20, 1916).

English painter, writer and collector. He first studied at F. S. Cary’s academy and in 1848 entered the Royal Academy Schools, London. He is also thought to have trained in Paris at some time in the late 1840s or early 1850s, first in Charles Gleyre’s atelier and subsequently at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He specialized in portraits of literary figures and scenes from the lives of past writers, as in Dr Johnson at Cave’s, the Publisher (1854; untraced). His first great success was the Death of Chatterton (London, Tate), which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1856. The impoverished late 18th-century poet Thomas Chatterton, who while still in his teens had poisoned himself in despair, was a romantic hero for many young and struggling artists in Wallis’s day. He depicted the poet dead in his London garret, the floor strewn with torn fragments of manuscript and, tellingly, an empty phial near his hand. The painting was universally praised, not least by John Ruskin who described it as ‘faultless and wonderful’, advising visitors to ‘examine it well, inch by inch’. Although Wallis was only loosely connected with the Pre-Raphaelite movement, his method and style in ...

Article

Mark Stocker

(b Hadleigh, Suffolk, Dec 17, 1825; d London, Oct 7, 1892).

English sculptor and poet . He ranks with John Henry Foley as the leading sculptor of mid-Victorian England. He trained with William Behnes and in 1842 enrolled as a student at the Royal Academy, London. In 1844 he exhibited at Westminster Hall, London, a life-size plaster group, the Death of Boadicea (destr.), in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain sculptural commissions for the Houses of Parliament. His earliest important surviving work is the statuette of Puck (plaster, 1845–7; C. G. Woolner priv. col.), which was admired by William Holman Hunt and helped to secure Woolner’s admission in 1848 to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The work’s Shakespearean theme and lifelike execution, stressing Puck’s humorous malice rather than traditional ideal beauty, made it highly appealing. Although eclipsed by Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Woolner was an important figure in the Brotherhood. He contributed poetry to its journal, The Germ (1850), and his work was committed to truthfulness to nature more consistently than that of any other Pre-Raphaelite, except for Hunt. This is evident in Woolner’s monument to ...