The Dual

Frank Dicksee
(1853–1928) British
Title The Dual
Category Recently Sold
Medium & Size Pencil and watercolour heightened with bodycolour and gum Arabic on paper : 6 ½ x 9 in. (Frame:13 x 15 1/2 in.) Signed &dated 1871. Titled verso.
Price Band £2,000 - £5,000
Location Barn Gallery

Frank Dicksee was an English Pre-Raphaelite painter and illustrator. He studied in the studio of his father, Thomas Francis Dicksee (1819–95), who painted portraits and historical genre scenes; he then entered the Royal Academy Schools, London, where he was granted a studentship in 1871. He also began to work as an illustrator during the 1870s. During the 1880s he was commissioned by Cassell & Co. to illustrate their editions of Longfellow's Evangeline (1882), Shakespeare's Othello (1890) and Romeo and Juliet (1884).

Dicksee's paintings are executed with textural fluidity and rich orchestrations of colour. They reveal a curious blend of influences, in particular the classicism of Frederic Leighton and the abstracted idealism of G. F. Watts. His predilection for the decorative aspects of painting grew out of his studies with Henry Holiday, a designer of stained glass. He passionately championed the Victorian ideals of High Art and publicly condemned the artistic trends that emerged towards the end of his life. His work covers a wide range of subject-matter and genres, including biblical and allegorical paintings. He also painted society portraits and social dramas.

Dicksee was elected ARA in 1881, RA in 1891 and PRA in 1924. He was knighted in 1925 and made KCVO in 1927.

The ideal of chivalry preoccupied the Pre-Raphaelites and Dicksee based several works on the subject, most notably in ‘Chivalry’ in 1885, formerly in the Forbes Magazine Collection, and 'La Belle Dame sans Merci'. Drawings by Dicksee rarely come on the open market.                        


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