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Sir Hubert von Herkomer RA RWS (1849-1914)

Sir Hubert von Herkomer, CVO VPRWS RA RE RI (1849-1914)

Bavarian-born Hubert von Herkomer was a leading and sometimes controversial figure in the cultural life of Victorian Britain. He first made his name as a Social Realist, with wood-engraved illustrations for The Graphic and paintings exhibited at the Royal Academy. Broadening both his methods and his subject matter, he became particularly well known as a portraitist. He set up his own School of Art in Bushey, in 1883 and, two years later, was appointed Slade Professor Fine Art at Oxford University. Ever energetic and forward thinking, he produced ‘pictorial-music-plays’ in his own theatre and, at the end of his life, became a pioneering film-maker.

His work is represented in numerous public collections, including Guildhall Art Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and Tate; the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford), Bushey Museum and Art Gallery, Chesterfield Museum & Art Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery, Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum (Bournemouth), Southampton City Art Gallery, Touchstones Rochdale; and Yale Center for British Art; and also Christ Church College (Oxford), the Examinations School (Oxford), Trinity College (Cambridge) and the University of Manchester.

Further reading:
Lee M Edwards,
Herkomer: A Victorian Artist, Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999;
Lee M Edwards, ‘Herkomer, Sir Hubert von (1849-1914)’, H C G Matthew and Brian Harrison (eds),
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2011, https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/33836;
Lee M Edwards, ‘Herkomer, Sir Hubert von (
b Waal, Bavaria, May 26, 1849; d Budleigh Salterton, Devon, March 31, 1914)’, Jane Turner (ed), The Dictionary of Art, London: Macmillan, 2004, https://doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T037756;
Grant Longman,
The Beginning of the Herkomer Art School, Bushey: E G Longman, 1983;
J Saxon Mills,
The Life and Letters of Sir Hubert Herkomer, CVO RA: A Study in Struggle and Success, London: Hutchinson, 1923

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