Friday, 1 August 2014

Art on Friday; Arthur Hughes


Arthur Hughes (27 January 1832 – 22 December 1915)was an English painter and illustrator associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Arthur Hughes' first version of Ophelia with the pond that Millais didn't like.

Arthur Hughes' first version of Ophelia had the bad timing to be hung at the Royal Academy at  the same time as John Everett Millais' more famous version of the same subject. While Millais gained quite a lot of deserved fame from his Ophelia, Hughes' version was relegated to the Octagon Room, called by the resident artists "The Condemned Cell". Not only was it in a terrible location, it was hung extremely high up ("above the line") where it could only be observed with the use of a ladder. This, sadly, would be the fate of many of Hughes' future paintings at the Royal Academy.

However, young Arthur was resigned to his fate but was astounded when his hero, the older former student Millais (with whom he had never spoken) wandered over and asked him if he was "Cherry". (Arthur Hughes' artist friends had given him this nickname because he frequently blushed.) Millais told him that he had indeed climbed the ladder to look at his version of Ophelia and that it had given him "more pleasure than any picture there".

But... he didn't like the pond.

 Arthur Hughes would go on to do a second version of Ophelia and produce an incredibly huge amount of work that also included book illustrations.

 April Love

The Brave Geraint

 The Princess and the Goblin

I saw, leaning against the tree, a beautiful woman ~ Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women by George MacDonald ~ 1905 

© KH

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