terça-feira, 7 de janeiro de 2014

Arthur Hughes' life

Arthur Hughes was born in London on 27 January 1832, to Edward and Amy Hughes. He entered Archbishop Tenison's Grammar School in about 1838, and while there displayed an early talent for drawing; in 1846 he entered the School of Design, Somerset House where he studied under Alfred Stevens. In 1847 he enrolled in the Antique Schools at the Royal Academy, winning a silver medal in 1849 for a drawing from the Antique, and in that same year exhibited his first finished painting, "Musidora," at the Royal Academy. 1850 was the most important year of his life: he first discovered Pre-Raphaelitism by reading the "Germ"; he met Tryphena Foord, his future wife and mother of his six children; and met Alexander Munro, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Ford Madox Brown, thenceforward being converted to their cause. In 1856 Hughes exhibited two of his best paintings at the Royal Academy, "The Eve of St. Agnes" and "April Love," the latter being bought from the R.A. by William Morris. In 1857 he joined with Rossetti, Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and others in painting murals on the walls of the Oxford Union Debating Hall, an effort which perhaps inspired his later Arthurian works such as "The Knight of the Sun" and "Sir Galahad." Another well-known painting is "Home from Sea", begun at Chingford, Essex in 1856, but not completed until 1862-63 when the figure of the girl was added. As well as being the best of the younger Pre-Raphaelite followers, Hughes was one of the leading book illustrators of the period, producing drawings for Tennyson's "Enoch Arden," Thomas Hughes's (no relation) "Tom Brown's School Days," and George MacDonald's "At the Back of the North Wind" and "The Princess and the Goblin." Hughes's only official post was Art Examiner in the South Kensington Schools, although he taught from January to August 1877 at the Working Men's College. In 1912 he was awarded a Civil List Pension, and on 23 December 1915 he died in Kew Green, London, having produced approximately 700 known paintings & drawings and 750 book illustrations during his lifetime. For more information, and a comprehensive catalogue of his works, see "Arthur Hughes: His Life and Works, A Catalogue Raisonné by Leonard Roberts, with a Biographical Introduction by Stephen Wildman" (Woodbridge: ACC Ltd., 1997).

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