Frank Dicksee

England / 1853 - 1928 / wikipedia
British painter, the best-known member of a family of artists. He specialized in romantic historical scenes (often from his own imagination rather than based on a particular event or literary source) and—in the later part of his career—portraits; he also occasionally produced scenes of modern social drama. At his best, he painted with a sumptuous technique and a feeling for bold and unusual lighting effects, but he could be rather twee.

He was at the height of his esteem at the turn of the century: in 1900 he was awarded a medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition, and in the same year his pious medieval pageant The Two Crowns (Tate) was voted the most popular picture at the *Royal Academy summer exhibition. By the end of his career, however, he was regarded as distinctly old-fashioned, and when he was elected president of the Royal Academy in 1924, this was seen as a concession to his seniority rather than as an indication of his standing in the art world. He was strongly opposed to modernism in art and his speeches as president fit the stereotype of the old attacking the new.

Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee KCVO PRA (London 27 Nov. 1853 – 17 Oct. 1928); English Victorian painter and illustrator, best known for his pictures of dramatic literary, historical, and legendary scenes. Also a noted painter of portraits of fashionable women, which helped to bring him success in his own time.

His father, Thomas Dicksee, was a painter who taught Frank... from a young age. Enrolled in the Royal Academy in 1870 and achieved early success....

Dicksee painted The Funeral of a Viking... Victorian critics gave it both positive and negative reviews, for its perfection as a showpiece and for its dramatic and somewhat staged setting, respectively. The painting was used by Swedish Viking/Black metal band Bathory for the cover of their 1990 album, Hammerheart.
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Christopher Foster


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