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date: 13 December 2019

Dyce, Williamlocked

(b Aberdeen, Sept 19, 1806; d Streatham, London, Feb 15, 1864).
  • Marcia Pointon

Extract

(b Aberdeen, Sept 19, 1806; d Streatham, London, Feb 15, 1864).

Scottish painter, educationalist, theorist and designer. The son of a lecturer in medicine at Marischal College, Aberdeen, he studied medicine and theology, obtaining his Master’s degree in 1823. Episcopalian by upbringing, Dyce was expected, like his cousin, the scholar and bibliophile Alexander Dyce (1798–1869), to proceed to Oxford to take orders. His early interest in art found an outlet in portraiture, his first commission being Sir James M. D. M’Grigor (1823; U. Aberdeen). His first attempt at history painting, The Infant Hercules Strangling the Serpents sent by Juno to Destroy Him (1824; Edinburgh, N.G.), much influenced by Reynolds, was shown to Sir Thomas Lawrence, who is said to have encouraged Dyce to enter the Royal Academy Schools in 1825. After a few months he set off for Rome in the company of Alexander Day; this somewhat sudden and unconventional departure from academic education was typical of Dyce, who was both conscientious and innovative....

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