Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

(Anthony) Frederick Augustus Sandys (1829-1904), Painter and illustrator

Painter and illustrator; born Antonio Frederic Augustus Sands, 1 May 1829, son of Anthony Sands, a minor Norwich artist. Worked as illustrator from 1845; studied at Norwich School of Design 1846; surname changed to Sandys 1853; married Georgiana Creed 1853; enduring relationship with Mary Emma Jones, common-law wife, from 1862; introduced himself to Pre-Raphaelites with caricature A Nightmare (1857), marking start of creative period under influence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (ended by a rift 1869); exh. Royal Academy 1851–86, incl. Morgan-le-fay (1864) and Medea (1869); exh. Grosvenor Gallery 1879; designed wood-engravings for publication in Cornhill Magazine and Good Words 1860–66; incurred heavy debts and was several times bankrupt; continued to draw until death, 25 June 1904, in London.

For Sandys, Whistler had a real, if humorous affection, though the two lost sight of each other during many years. Sandys’ work never interested Whistler, but Sandys, the man, was a perpetual delight to him as the English counterpart of his friends of the Latin Quarter. Like them, Sandys was usually without a penny in his pocket, and like them, he faced the situation with calm and swagger, but he added a magnificence they never, in their maddest moments, pretended to. Accidents never separated him from his white waistcoat, though he might have to carry it himself to the laundry, or get his model, ‘the little girl,’ he called her, to carry it for him. You were always meeting them with the brown paper parcel, Whistler said, and at the nearest friend’s house he would stop, and five minutes later come out in another immaculate white waistcoat. [1]

Carol Blackett-Ord


Footnotesback to top

1) Pennell & Pennell 1908, vol.1, pp.114–15 [for 1863].

Referencesback to top

Brighton 1974
Frederick Sandys 1829–1904, exh. cat., Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, 1974.

Duleep Singh [1928]
Duleep Singh, Prince Frederick, Portraits in Norfolk Houses, 2 vols, Norwich, n.d. [1928].

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

Elzea 2001
Elzea, B., Frederick Sandys: A Catalogue Raisonné, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2001.

Elzea 2004
Elzea, B., ‘Sandys, (Anthony) Frederick Augustus (1829–1904)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.

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

O’Donoghue 1908–22
O’Donoghue, F., Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, 5 vols, London, 1908–22 (and vol.6, H.M. Hake, Supplement and indexes, 1925).

Pennell & Pennell 1908
Pennell, E.R., and J. Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London, 1908.

Ross 1912
Ross, R., ‘Sandys, Frederick (1829–1904)’, DNB, supplement 2, London, 1912.