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John Ruskin, Godfather to the Pre-Raphaelites, was born 200 years ago today
Two hundred years ago today, the major British art critic and writer John Ruskin was born in London. Although Ruskin appears to have painted only in watercolour, and for his own ends, this article takes a look at some of his paintings and his role as a major influence... Read more
Beyond the French Impressionists: 16 Britain, Turner, Steer
Compared with most other European countries, Impressionism largely passed British painters by. This is surprising given the popularity and influence of John Constable and JWM Turner earlier in the nineteenth century, and the presence of two American painters of great distinction and popularity in London: John Singer Sargent (in... Read more
The Story in Paintings: JW Waterhouse and mediaeval romance
There were history and other narrative painters in the late 1800s who did not see the need to re-invent history painting in the way that Gustave Moreau did. One of the best and most enduring – if still little-known – was JW Waterhouse. John William Waterhouse (1849–1917) Born in... Read more
The Story in Paintings: Pre-Raphaelite tableaux
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) was formed as a close-knit and often co-habiting artistic group in 1848, in England. Its early doctrines were expressed in four declarations: to have genuine ideas to express, to study nature attentively, so as to know how to express them, to sympathise with what is... Read more
Between Turner and the 20th century: Alfred William Hunt
Following the death of JMW Turner in 1851, there did not appear to be any successor in British art. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood had been formed, but was working in quite a different direction, and the focus of development in landscape painting had moved to Paris, and the Impressionists. In... Read more
Into the Light: Marianne Stokes, a major woman artist
Marianne Preindlsberger (1855-1927), better known under her married name of Marianne Stokes, was an accomplished painter before she met her husband Adrian Stokes, covered in the previous article. She was born in Graz, Austria, and in about 1870 studied at the Graz Drawing Academy, before moving to Munich in... Read more
The Story in Paintings: ER Hughes’ flights of fantasy
Edward Robert Hughes (1851-1914) was trained at the Royal Academy Schools in London from 1868, and became a popular portraitist. In addition, he was a studio assistant for more than fifteen years to the more senior Pre-Raphaelite William Holman Hunt (1827–1910), and a meticulous painter in watercolours. William Holman... Read more
The Story in Paintings: Arthur Hughes and romantic legends
Contemporary romantic poems and the legends of the mythical King Arthur of Britain of around 500 CE were central themes in much of Pre-Raphaelite art. Although never a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood itself, Arthur Hughes (1832–1915) ‘converted’ to its ideals and style in 1850. He had studied at... Read more
The Story in Paintings: Evelyn De Morgan 1, to 1880
Of all the painters of the nineteenth century, Evelyn De Morgan (1855–1919) has to be one of the most fascinating. At first sight, her art is not that different, perhaps, from the many paintings in Pre-Raphaelite style. It might even look at bit of a dead-end compared to the... Read more
The Story in Paintings: Evelyn De Morgan 2, 1881 on
The previous article detailed the life, career, and early paintings of Evelyn De Morgan (1855–1919). This completes my account, covering a selection of her narrative paintings from 1881 onwards. Phosphorus and Hesperus (1881) Evelyn De Morgan (1855–1919), Phosphorus and Hesperus (1881), oil on canvas, 75 × 59.5 cm, The... Read more