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Frederick Richard Pickersgill RA (1820-1900)

Frederick Richard Pickersgill, RA (1820-1900)

Growing up in a family of artists, Frederick Richard Pickersgill quickly developed the particular skills of draughtsmanship and composition, enabling him to become equally significant as a history painter and literary illustrator during the mid Victorian period.

Frederick Richard Pickersgill was born in London on 25 September 1820, the son of the naval officer and amateur marine painter, Richard Pickersgill, and his wife, Anne, the sister of the painter, William Frederic Witherington. His paternal uncle, Henry William Pickersgill, was a portrait painter, and his cousin, Henry Hall Pickersgill, was also a painter.

Pickersgill studied under his uncle, W F Witherington, until 1840, when he entered the Royal Academy Schools. Influenced by William Etty, he painted genre, historical and literary subjects, including scenes from Spenser’s
The Faerie Queene, in a manner that often emulated Venetian painting of the sixteenth century. These he exhibited mainly at the Royal Academy (between 1839 and 1875) and the British Institution. His early successes included entries to the competition to decorate the new Houses of Parliament; the cartoon, The Death of King Lear, won a prize of £100 in 1843, while The Burial of Harold won a first-class prize of £500 in 1847, the work being purchased for the Houses of Parliament for an equal amount.

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Myths & Legends (1)

Nudes (1)

Religion & Belief
Paganism (1)

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