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Bell, Robert Anning  

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 ...


Boyce, George Price  

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...


Brett, John  

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 ...


Brown, Ford Madox  

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 ...


Burne-Jones, Sir Edward  

John Christian


(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 ...


Collins, Charles Allston  

Jenny Elkan

(b Hampstead, London, Jan 25, 1828; d London, April 9, 1873).

English painter, son of William Collins. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools, London, where his style was influenced by William Etty. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1847 to 1855 and was closely associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) from 1850. Collins was especially friendly with John Everett Millais, with whom he spent the summer of 1850 painting in Oxfordshire. Millais proposed Collins as a member of the PRB, but the nomination was found unacceptable by the sculptor Thomas Woolner, on the grounds that Collins did not seem to him to be interested enough in Pre-Raphaelite ideas.

In 1850 Collins exhibited Berengaria’s Alarm for the Safety of her Husband, Richard Coeur de Lion, Awakened by the Sight of his Girdle Offered for Sale at Rome (Manchester, C.A.G.). In his choice of a medieval, romantic subject and use of clear pastel colours Collins was influenced by Millais’s early work. His next and best-known painting, ...


Collinson, James  

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 ...


Combe, Thomas  

John Christian

(b Leicester, 1797; d Oxford, Oct 29, 1872).

English publisher and patron. He was one of the earliest patrons of the Pre-Raphaelites, and his bequest of their works to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, is notable among collections formed in the 19th century in that it remains largely intact. (Unless otherwise stated, all works mentioned are in the Ashmolean.) In 1838 Combe became Superintendent of the Clarendon Press at Oxford University, a post he held until his death. Under his management, the Press, hitherto run at a loss, became a source of revenue; Combe’s own substantial share in the profitable business of printing Bibles and prayer books enabled him to acquire a considerable personal fortune. He was a genial, hospitable man of strong religious convictions, a friend and ardent supporter of the Tractarians; John Henry Newman officiated at his marriage in 1840. Combe and his wife Martha (1806–93) were active in many forms of charitable work, and Combe, who edited ...


Crane, Walter  

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 ...


Davis, William  

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....


Deverell, Walter Howell  

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 ...


Fairbairn, Sir Thomas  

Oliver Garnett

(b Manchester, Jan 18, 1823; d Bishopstoke, Hants, Aug 12, 1891).

English industrialist, patron, collector and exhibition organizer. Having developed the London businesses of his father, William Fairbairn (1789–1874), the pioneer engineer and manufacturer of industrial machinery, he settled in Manchester in the 1850s and began collecting contemporary paintings. He is particularly associated with William Holman Hunt, whose Awakening Conscience (1853; London, Tate) Fairbairn bought from the artist in 1854, although he requested that the woman’s apparently anguished expression be repainted. Hunt was also persuaded to modify The Scapegoat (1854; Port Sunlight, Lady Lever A.G.). In 1864, Fairbairn commissioned Hunt to paint the Children’s Holiday (1864; Torre Abbey, Torbay, Devon), a group portrait of the Fairbairn family taking tea in a landscape setting. In 1873 he negotiated the sale of the Shadow of Death (1870–3; Manchester, C.A.G.) to Thos Agnew & Son’s.

Otherwise Fairbairn preferred landscapes and historical genre scenes in a precise Pre-Raphaelite style, for instance ...


Fortescue-Brickdale, (Mary) Eleanor  

Gerald Taylor

(b Upper Norwood, Surrey, Jan 25, 1872; d Kensington, London, March 10, 1945).

English illustrator, painter and designer. She entered the Royal Academy Schools, London, and won a prize for a mural design in 1897. She specialized in book illustration, in pen and ink and later in colour. Among her many commissions were illustrations to Tennyson’s Poems (1905) and Idylls of the King (1911) and Browning’s Pippa Passes (1908). She was particularly popular with the publishers of the lavishly illustrated gift-books fashionable in the Edwardian era. She exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and the Royal Water-Colour Society. She took up stained-glass design (windows in Bristol Cathedral), which modified her style of illustration to flat areas of colour within black outlines. She also painted plaster figurines and designed bookplates.

Fortescue-Brickdale continued the Pre-Raphaelite tradition, reworking romantic and moralizing medieval subjects in naturalistic and often strong colour and elaborate detail. Her most important oil painting is The Forerunner...


Graham, William  

Oliver Garnett

(b Glasgow, Aug 1817; d Oakdene, nr Guildford, Surrey, July 16, 1885).

Scottish merchant, politician, patron and collector. Suspicious of connoisseurship but open to the advice of Edward Burne-Jones, from the 1860s he assembled a large collection of early Italian paintings, often bought cheaply on his frequent trips to Italy. Among his more important pictures were Giotto’s Salvator Mundi from the Rimini Crucifix (Surrey, priv. col.), Carlo Crivelli’s Virgin and Child Enthroned (New York, Met.) and Pesellino’s Virgin and Child with St John (Toledo, OH, Mus. A.). He was fond of unusual mythological subjects (e.g. Piero di Cosimo’s Discovery of Vulcan; Hartford, CT, Wadsworth Atheneum) and late 15th- and early 16th-century Venetian works, particularly from the circle of Giovanni Bellini. He readily bought minor pieces that appealed to his deep religious faith (he was a Presbyterian), but showed no interest in collecting drawings and little in non-Italian Old Masters; Claude Lorrain’s Landscape with Parnassus (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.) is a notable exception. A generous lender to the South Kensington Museum and the Royal Academy winter exhibitions, he was appointed a trustee of the National Gallery in ...


Hemy, Charles Napier  

Andrew Greg

(b Newcastle upon Tyne, May 24, 1841; d Falmouth, Cornwall, Sept 30, 1917).

English painter. He was born into a musical family. An early artistic influence was the teaching of William Bell Scott, Headmaster of the Government School of Design in Newcastle. But in the 1850s Hemy’s painting had to compete with his Catholicism and the call of the sea. By the mid-1860s he had settled down and had adopted a Pre-Raphaelite style, exemplified in his early masterpiece Among the Shingle at Clovelly (1864; Newcastle upon Tyne, Laing A.G.). He was inspired by contact with the circles of William Morris and George Pinwell, but criticism of his draughtsmanship led him to study under Baron Henry Leys at Antwerp from 1867 to 1869. This resulted in several religious subjects (e.g. At the Foot of the Cross; exh. RA 1870; untraced).

On his return to London in the 1870s, his maritime subjects were influenced by Whistler and James Tissot, and he became associated with the Grosvenor Gallery, where ...


Holiday, Henry  

Peter Cormack

(George Alexander)

(b London, June 17, 1839; d London, April 15, 1927).

English stained-glass artist, painter and illustrator. He studied painting in London at Leigh’s Art School and the Royal Academy Schools, where he was influenced by Pre-Raphaelitism. Contact with Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s circle and the architect William Burges introduced him to the applied arts, and from 1863 he worked primarily as a stained-glass artist, particularly in collaboration with the glass manufacturers James Powell & Sons and Heaton, Butler & Bayne. After visiting Italy in 1867 he abandoned his early Pre-Raphaelite style for one inspired by Classical and Renaissance art, aiming to create a ‘modern’ style of stained glass no longer dependent on medievalism. His memorial window (1868) to the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel in Westminster Abbey and the complete glazing scheme (1869–75) of St Mary Magdalene, Paddington, London, illustrate the expressive figure drawing and feeling for monumental scale characteristic of all his mature work. In 1891, dissatisfied with the working methods of the commercial stained-glass firms, he established his own workshop in Hampstead, London, and experimented successfully with making pot-metal glass. Many of Holiday’s later commissions were for American churches; his windows (...


Houghton, Arthur Boyd  

Paul Hogarth

(b Kotagiri, Madras, India, March 13, 1836; d London, Nov 25, 1875).

English painter and illustrator. He played a leading role in the renaissance of wood-engraved illustration during the so-called golden decade of English book illustration (c. 1860–75), when a new school of artists overcame the limitations of the medium. Deeply influenced by the idealism of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, he imbued both his paintings and drawings with a haunting blend of poetic realism. He was the fourth son of Captain John Michael Houghton (1797–1874), who served in the East India Company’s Marine as a draughtsman.

Houghton was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 1854 but did not pass further than the Life School. He received additional training at J. M. Leigh’s academy and its convivial corollary, the Langham Artists’ Society, which was then a forcing-house for young impoverished painters who wished to have a foot in both publishing and the fine arts. There, with older artists such as Charles Keene and John Tenniel, he learnt to run the race against time with a set weekly subject. Keene, already a well-known contributor to ...


Hughes, Arthur  

Julian Treuherz

(b London, Jan 27, 1832; d Kew Green, London, Dec 22, 1915).

English painter and illustrator. In 1846 he joined the School of Design at Somerset House, London, under Alfred Stevens (ii). The following year he won an art studentship to the Royal Academy Schools, where in 1849 he won the silver medal for antique drawing. In the same year he showed his first painting at the Royal Academy, Musidora (Birmingham, Mus. & A.G.), a conventionally painted nude. In 1850, while still a student, he saw a copy of the periodical The Germ, which converted him to Pre-Raphaelitism and led to his meeting William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Ford Madox Brown, though he never became an official member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Hughes’s first exhibited work in the new style, Ophelia (exh. RA 1852; Manchester, C.A.G.), was admired by Millais, whose own Ophelia (1851–2; London, Tate) was in the same exhibition. They became friends and Hughes sat for Millais’s ...


Hunt, William Holman  

Judith Bronkhurst

(b London, April 2, 1827; d London, Sept 7, 1910).

English painter.

He worked as an office clerk in London from 1839 to 1843, attending drawing classes at a mechanics’ institute in the evenings and taking weekly lessons from the portrait painter Henry Rogers. Holman Hunt overcame parental opposition to his choice of career in 1843, and this determined attitude and dedication to art could be seen throughout his working life. In July 1844, at the third attempt, he entered the Royal Academy Schools. His earliest exhibited works, such as Little Nell and her Grandfather (exh. British Institution, 1846; Sheffield, Graves A.G.), reveal few traces of originality, but the reading of John Ruskin’s Modern Painters in 1847 was of crucial importance to Holman Hunt’s artistic development. It led him to abandon the ambitious Christ and the Two Marys (Adelaide, A.G. S. Australia) in early 1848, when he realized its traditional iconography would leave his contemporaries unmoved. His next major work, the ...


Inchbold, J(ohn) W(illiam)  

David Cordingly

(b Leeds, Aug 29, 1830; d Leeds, Jan 23, 1888).

English painter. He spent his early years in Leeds, where his father was a newspaper proprietor, but came to London around 1846 to study lithography in the firm of Day & Haghe. His obituary in The Athenaeum records that he went on to study at the Royal Academy Schools, but his name does not appear in the registers. He exhibited watercolours at the Society of British Artists in 1849 and 1850 and at the Royal Academy in 1851. At this period his work has a fluidity and a freedom of handling that is closer to Richard Parkes Bonington than to the prevailing style of Victorian watercolours. Around 1852 he came under the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite movement and radically altered his style. His oil painting of the Chapel, Bolton (exh. RA 1853; Northampton, Cent. Mus. & A.G.) is a meticulously rendered view of the abbey ruins in the Pre-Raphaelite manner. This was followed the next year by ...