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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Valentine Cameron Prinsep (1838-1904), Artist and writer

Artist and writer; born 14 February 1838, in Calcutta. Moved to London with family age five and lived among the artist circles of the salon established by his mother Sara (sister to Julia Margaret Cameron) at Little Holland House in Kensington; studied with George Frederic Watts and at Gleyre’s atelier in Paris 1859–60; assisted Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Morris on decoration of the Union Society at Oxford 1858, absorbing the style of the Pre-Raphaelites; [1] later a member of the St John’s Wood Clique, painting history and literary subjects and participating whole-heartedly in the group’s social engagements; [2] exhibition debut at Hogarth Club 1859, then exh. annually at Royal Academy from 1862 until death; elected ARA 1879, RA 1894, professor of painting 1901; commissioned 1877 to paint the proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India (RA 1880; Royal Coll.); later works display a range of influences, particularly that of Frederic Leighton, and an interest in Orientalism; married Florence, daughter of shipowner and art patron Frederick Leyland 1884; author of two fanciful novels and a lively account of his Indian commission; died 11 November 1904, in London.

Affectionately known as ‘Buzz’, Prinsep was a man of striking physical height and presence, with considerable charm; [3] he was the model for the character of Taffy in George Du Maurier’s novel Trilby.

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

1) Dakers 1999, pp.34–6; and MA, 1904, pp.281–4.
2) Leslie 1914, pp.188–9.
3) Gibson 1912.

Referencesback to top

Adams 1936
Adams, C.K., A Catalogue of the Pictures in the Garrick Club, London, 1936.

Ashton 1997
Ashton, G., Pictures in the Garrick Club, ed. K.A. Burnim and A. Wilton, London, 1997.

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.

Cox & Ford 2003
Cox, J., and C. Ford, Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs, London, 2003.

Dakers 1999
Dakers, C., The Holland Park Circle: Artists and Victorian Society, New Haven and London, 1999.

Dakers 2004
Dakers, C., ‘Prinsep, Valentine Cameron (1838–1904)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.

Du Maurier 1951
Du Maurier, D., ed., The Young George Du Maurier: A Selection of his Letters 1860–67, London, 1951.

Easton 1967
Easton, M., comp., Art in Britain, 1890–1940: From the Collection of the University of Hull, exh. cat., University of Hull, 1967.

Gibson 1912
Gibson, F.W., ‘Prinsep, Valentine Cameron (1838–1904)’, DNB, London, 1912.

Gould 2004
Gould, V.F., G.F. Watts: The Last Great Victorian, London, 2004.

Hacking 2000
Hacking, J., Princes of Victorian Bohemia: Photographs by David Wilkie Wynfield, exh. cat., NPG, London, 2000.

Hankinson 1982
Hankinson, A., Man of Wars: William Howard Russell of The Times, London, 1982.

Hudson 1969
Hudson, D., ‘Billiards at the Garrick Club’, Connoisseur, December 1969, p.274.

Leslie 1914
Leslie, G.D., The Inner Life of the Royal Academy, London, 1914.

MacCarthy 2011
MacCarthy, F., The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination, London, 2011.

McMaster 2008
McMaster, J., ‘That Mighty Art of Black-and-White: Linley Sambourne, Punch and the Royal Academy’, British Art Journal, Autumn 2008, pp.62–76.

McMaster 2009
McMaster, J., That Mighty Art of Black-and-White: Linley Sambourne, Punch and the Royal Academy, Edmonton, Canada, 2009.

Prinsep 1977
Val Prinsep RA: A Jubilee Painter, exh. poster, South London Art Gallery, 1977.

Robinson [1892]
Robinson, R.W., Members and Associates of the Royal Academy of Arts, 1891. Photographed in their Studios by Ralph W. Robinson of Redhill, n.p., [1892].

Snow 1975
Snow, C.P., Trollope, London, 1975.

Spielmann 1901
Spielmann, M.H., British Sculpture and Sculptors of To-Day, London, 1901.

Stephens 1884
Stephens, F.G., ed., Artists at Home. Photographed by J.P. Mayall and reproduced in facsimile…, 6 parts, London, 1884

Tickner 2004
Tickner, L., Dante Gabriel Rossetti, London, 2004.

Walkley 1994
Walkley, G., Artists’ Houses in London 1764–1914, Aldershot, 1994.

[Wood] 1984
[Wood, C., intro.,] A Fraternity of Artists: A Set of Sixty-two Portraits of Late Victorian Artists, by Walker Hodgson, exh. leaflet, Christopher Wood Gallery, London, 1984.