Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue
Frederic George Stephens (1828-1907), Pre-Raphaelite painter and art critic
In youth he was regarded as having distinctively handsome features, which can be seen in several PRB works; later he grew a flowing beard and wore his hair unfashionably long, in old age appearing as ‘a scruffy-looking individual, with gleaming, alert eyes’.  Described as an ‘industrious, learned and careful’ critic, out of sympathy with developments in art after 1860,  he was also perceived as ‘singularly devoid of humour’.  To William Michael Rossetti, his oldest surviving friend, he was ‘a man of firm and settled opinions and … of character even rather unbending – but nonetheless with a certain quality of personal diffidence which tells in his conversation’. 
Dr Jan Marsh
Footnotesback to top
1) Published in the Athenaeum, 1873–87.
2) [Denis Eden], ‘One of the Pre-Raphaelites: When F.G. Stephens taught drawing at University College School’, The Times, 26 Feb. 1959, p.12. Owing to a childhood accident he walked with a pronounced limp, which may have contributed to the ‘scruffy’ perception.
3) Steele 1912.
4) Eden, see note 2 above.
5) Rossetti 1906, vol.1, p.68.
Referencesback to top‘Aliquis’ 1892
‘Aliquis’, ‘Art Critics of Today’, Art Journal, July 1892, pp.193–7.
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Bronkhurst, J.E., ‘William Holman Hunt: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Drawings executed up to his Departure for the Near East on 13 January 1854’, 2 vols, unpublished doctoral thesis, Courtauld Institute, University of London, 1987.
Bronkhurst, J.E., William Holman Hunt: A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 2 vols, 2006.
Coombs et al. 1986
Coombs J.H., and others, eds, A Pre-Raphaelite Friendship: The Correspondence of William Holman Hunt and John Lucas Tupper, Ann Arbor, MI, 1986.
De Montfort 2008
De Montfort, P., ‘“Two to make a Brotherhood”: F.G. Stephens, Art Criticism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood’, The Review of the Pre-Raphaelite Society, vol.16, no.2, Autumn 2008, pp.57–69.
Fredeman, W.E., ed., The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 9 vols, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2002–10.
Funnell & Warner 1999
Funnell, P., and M. Warner, Millais: Portraits, exh. cat., NPG, London, 1999.
Hunt, W.H., Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 2 vols, London, 1905
Hunt, W.H., Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 2nd ed., 2 vols, London, 1913.
Maas, J., The Victorian Art World in Photographs, London, 1984.
Macleod, D.S., ‘F.G. Stephens: Pre-Raphaelite Critic and Art Historian’, Burlington Magazine, vol.128, June 1986, pp.398–406.
Macleod, D.S., ‘Stephens, Frederic George (1827–1907)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.
Manson, J.B., Frederic George Stephens and the Pre-Raphaelite Brothers, privately printed, 1920.
Millais, J.G., The Life and Letters of Sir John Everett Millais, 2 vols, London, 1899.
Ormond, R., ‘Portraits to Australia’, Apollo, vol.85, 1967, pp.25–7.
Parris, L., ed., The Pre-Raphaelites, exh. cat., Tate, London, 1984.
Roberts & Wildman 1997
Roberts, L., and S. Wildman, eds, Arthur Hughes, His Life and Works: A Catalogue Raisonné, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1997.
Rose, A., Pre-Raphaelite Portraits, Yeovil, Somerset, 1981.
Rosenfeld & Smith 2007
Rosenfeld, J., and A. Smith, Millais, exh. cat., Tate, London, 2007.
Rossetti, W.M., Some Reminiscences and Other Writings, 2 vols, London, 1906.
Steele, R., ‘Stephens, Frederic George (1828–1907)’, DNB, London, 1912.
Thirlwell, A., William and Lucy: The Other Rossettis, New Haven and London, 2003.
Upstone, R., The Pre-Raphaelite Dream: Paintings and Drawings from the Tate Collection, London, 2003.
Warner, M., The Drawings of John Everett Millais, exh. cat., Arts Council, London, 1979.
Woolner, A., ed., Thomas Woolner R.A., Sculptor and Poet: His Life in Letters, London, 1917.
Dr Jan Marsh