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Frederick Sandys

Aug - 29 - 2013
Frederick Sandys

Portrait of Frederick Sandys by Anthony Sands(1848).

Antonio Frederic Augustus Sands (1 May 1829 – 25 June 1904) was born in Norwich. His surname was Sands. He added the ’y’ later. Frederick Sandys was an English “Pre-Raphaelite” painter, illustrator and draughtsman, of the Victorian era.

Biographical Information

He was born in Norwich, England, and received his earliest lessons in art from his father, who was himself a painter. His early studies show that he had a natural gift for careful and beautiful drawing. In 1846 Sandys attended the Norwich School of Design. In the same and next year his talent was recognized by the Royal Society of Arts.
He trained at the Norwich Art Union, and in the early 1850s moved to London. It would appear that he left his wife in Norwich, and did not return to her. He famously parodied Millais'(1829-1896) controversial painting Sir Isumbras at the Ford, with his drawing The Nightmare. This brought him to the attention of the Pre-Raphaelites, who, surprisingly, were not offended. In the 1860s he lived with Rossetti (1828-1882), at his house in Cheyne Walk. Sandys had an affair with a gypsy girl called Keomi, whose portrait he painted. For many years he lived with a well-known actress called Mary Jones, stage name Miss Clive, and she was the model for a number of his pictures. Sandys & Mary Jones had nine children who survived infancy. In truth he seems to have been a real old rascal! Sandys’ carefree mode of life, his liking for women and drink caused him considerable long term financial problems. He seems to have used his wits, & ability to entertain people on convivial evenings to help him through his problems.
His work Proud Maisie made in 1867, was inspired by Mary, so much so that he made at least 11 versions by 1904.
He died in the Kensington area of London in 1904. Painter died on Saturday in Kensington aged 72.

Grace Rose

Grace Rose(1866).Yale Center for British Art

Except for a small exhibition of his works held recently at the Leicester Galleries, Mr Sandys had almost disappeared from view for many years past; but those who are familiar with the black and white work of the sixties and seventies, and those who can carry their memories back to the year Medea, was exhibited, will always regard him as a man who might, if he had so chosen, have been among the foremost artists of his time.
Sandys never became a popular painter. He painted little, and the dominant influence upon his art was the influence exercised by lofty conceptions of tragic power. There was in it a sombre intensity and an almost stern beauty which lifted it far above the ideals of the crowd. The Scandinavian Sagas and Le Morte d’Arthur gave him subjects after his own heart. The Valkyrie and Morgan le Fay represent his work at its very best.


Information on the web

Biography of the artist and his work. English language Wikipedia

Biography of the artist and his

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