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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Arthur Hughes (1832-1915), Painter

Painter and illustrator; born 27 January 1832, in London. Studied at the National Art Training School 1846 and Royal Academy Schools 1847; younger follower of Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, admired by Ruskin; his best-known works include April Love (1855–6, first owned by William Morris, now Tate) and The Long Engagement (1853–9, Birmingham MAG); exh. RA 1849–1902 but never elected member; his only official recognition was as examiner to the South Kensington Art School from 1886; book illustrations include remarkable work for George MacDonald, Christina Rossetti[1] and Tennyson; died 22 December 1915, at Kew.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti described Arthur Hughes sending pictures to the RA summer exhibition in 1853: ‘Hughes, always behindhand like myself, began something at the last moment, & did not finish.’ [2]

Recommending Hughes to a potential patron in 1855, Rossetti wrote:

Among our youngest artists, he is the one (of those who paint both figure & landscape) whose genius is, beyond a doubt, of the highest order. To appreciate his works is a proof of great discernment, and the more you saw of them, the more I am sure you would cordially admire their genuine poetry & originality – since their resemblance at first sight to those of Hunt & Millais is caused merely by his studying nature as constantly and closely as they do.[3]

Carol Blackett-Ord

Footnotesback to top

1) ‘…Arthur Hughes who has just illustrated my sister’s Sing Song so exquisitely […] He is a dear old friend of mine and a true poet in painting. There is no man living who would have done my sister’s book so divinely well.’ Letter from D.G. Rossetti to T.G. Hake [30 Nov. 1871], Fredeman 2002–10, vol.5, letter no.71:203, p.201.
2) Letter from D.G. Rossetti to T. Woolner, 16 Apr. 1853, Fredeman 2002–10, vol.1, letter no.53:23, p.245.
3) Letter from D.G. Rossetti to E. Heaton [27 Feb. 1855], Fredeman 2002–10, vol.2, letter no.55:11, pp.22–3.

Referencesback to top

Bills & Webb 2007
Bills, M., and D. Webb, eds, Victorian Artists in Photographs: [The World of G.F. Watts]. Selections from the Rob Dickins Collection, exh. cat., Watts Gallery, Compton, 2007.

Collingwood 1898
Collingwood, S.D., The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll, London, 1898.

Cowan 1971
Cowan, L., Arthur Hughes: Pre-Raphaelite Painter, exh. cat., National Museum of Wales, Cardiff and Leighton House, London, 1971.

Cruise 2011
Cruise, C., Pre-Raphaelite Drawing, London, 2011 (to accompany exh. The Poetry of Drawing: Pre-Raphaelite Designs, Studies and Watercolours, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2011).

Hickox 1996a
Hickox, M., ‘John Brett’s Portraits’, The Review of the Pre-Raphaelite Society, vol.4, no.1, 1996, pp.13–19.

Hickox 1996b
Hickox, M., ‘John Brett and Ruskin’, Burlington Magazine, no.138, August 1996, pp.521–6.

Hunt 1905
Hunt, W.H., Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 2 vols, London, 1905

Hunt 1913
Hunt, W.H., Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 2nd ed., 2 vols, London, 1913.

Maas 1984
Maas, J., The Victorian Art World in Photographs, London, 1984.

Metken 1973
Metken, G., Präraffaeliten, exh. cat., Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, 1973–4.

Millais 1899
Millais, J.G., The Life and Letters of Sir John Everett Millais, 2 vols, London, 1899.

Newcastle 1968
Paintings and Drawings from the Leathart Collection, exh. cat., Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1968.

Nickel 2002
Nickel, D.R., Dreaming in Pictures: The Photography of Lewis Carroll, exh. cat., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: New Haven and London, 2002.

Payne 2010
Payne, C., John Brett; Pre-Raphaelite Landscape Painter, New Haven and London, 2010.

Payne & Sumner 2010
Payne, C., and A. Sumner, Objects of Affection: Pre-Raphaelite Portraits by John Brett, exh. cat., Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham University, Fine Art Society, London, and Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge: Bristol, 2010.

Read & Barnes 1991
Read, B., and J. Barnes, eds, Pre-Raphaelite Sculpture: Nature and Imagination in British Sculpture 1848–1914, London, 1991.

Roberts & Wildman 1997
Roberts, L., and S. Wildman, eds, Arthur Hughes, His Life and Works: A Catalogue Raisonné, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1997.

Roberts & Wildman 1998
Roberts, L., and S. Wildman, Arthur Hughes: The Last Pre-Raphaelite, exh. cat., Museum of Richmond, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1998.

Rossetti 1906
Rossetti, W.M., Some Reminiscences and Other Writings, 2 vols, London, 1906.

Wildman 2004
Wildman, S., ‘Hughes, Arthur (1832–1915)’, ODNB, Oxford, online ed., September 2004.