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Edward Robert Hughes


Genre Painter

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(b London, England, 1851; d St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, 1914) Pre-Raphaelite painter. Edward Hughes was a nephew of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Arthur Hughes, under whom he studied until he entered the Royal Academy Schools. Some of Hughes acquaintances included the English artist and designer Edward Burne-Jones and the poet and novelist George Macdonald, many of whose children books were illustrated by his Uncle Arthur. For a time he was engaged to one of Macdonald's daughters, but she died before their marriage. In 1883, he married Emily Eliza Davies. Hughes showed at the Royal Academy from 1870 to 1911, and was represented at the first Venice Biennale in 1895. He also exhibited regularly with the Royal Watercolor Society, becoming an Associate in 1891; a full member in 1895; and Vice-President for two years beginning in 1901.* Around 1902, Hughes worked as a studio assistant for the elderly painter Holman Hunt, whose eyesight was failing. Under the direction of Hunt, Hughes helped the artist on his final, and largest version of “The Light of the World,” St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. For several years Hughes he was employed as a teacher of evening classes at London County Council. He lived in London until 1913 when he moved to St. Albans. He died on April 23, 1914 at his cottage in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. Hughes worked mainly in watercolor and gouache, painting symbolist subjects and obscure literary themes, often Italian in origin. He is also well known for his slightly idealized portraits of women, executed in red chalk. His works display the meticulous observation of nature and minute technique associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement. (Credit: *Christie's, London, Important British and Irish Art, June 9, 2004, Lot 25)

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Pre-Raphaelite (50)