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Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau (Detail)
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Arthur
Hughes
English artist
born 1832- died 1915

Nationality:
English


Biographical Information

Arthur Hughes
by Paul Ripley

Hughes showed early artistic promise & enrolled in the Royal Academy Antique School in 1847. He was encouraged by Millais, who was always an affable individual. Hughes was inspired directly by The Germ, the short-lived Pre-Raphaelite magazine. He attended PRB meetings, in rather a junior hero-worshipping manner. Hughes was liked by the PRB, in fact he was throughout his long life, a well liked individual. He was also encouraged by Rossetti.

Hughes main traits as an individual were his modesty & self-effacement. He suffered somewhat at the hands of the Royal Academy, having a number of ill-merited rejections, & very badly hung pictures. He was never even elected an Associate. Hughes married, in 1855 Tryphena Foord, the union was lasting, & happy. As well as the limits imposed by his diffidence & modesty, Hughes was motivated by the desire for a stable, happy family life. Ultimately he was prepared to compromise artistic ambitions for this. Many of his pictures were of ordinary scenes of life. They were painted with great delicacy, & feeling, & were often in greens & mauves. Like the great orchestral composers, the warm sympathetic character of the man shines through in his work. William Michael Rossetti, writing about Hughes said “If I had to pick out, from my once numerous acquaintances of the male sex, the sweetest & most ingenuous nature of all, the least carking & querulous, & the freest from envy hatred & malice, & all uncharitableness, I should probably find myself bound to select Mr Hughes.” Should any human being have a better character reference, or epitaph than this I have yet to see it.

Following the death of Tryphena Hughes in 1921, their daughter Emily had to move to a smaller house. There was, therefore, a shortage of space. As a result she had her father’s remaining preparatory sketches, & all his private papers & correspondence destroyed. What an appalling act of artistic & historical vandalism!

Source: Victorian Art in Britain.

April Love

1855-1856
Oil on canvas
89 x 49.5 cm
(35.04" x 19.49")
Tate Gallery (London, United Kingdom)

Added: 2002-01-02
Ophelia

1851-1853
Oil on canvas
68.5 x 124 cm
(26.97" x 48.82")
Manchester City Art Galleries (Manchester, United Kingdom)

Added: 2002-01-02
A Music Party

1861-1864
Oil on canvas
Lady Lever Art Gallery (Port Sunlight, United Kingdom)

Added: 2002-01-02
A Music Party
Home from Sea

1856-1857
Oil on panel
Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, United Kingdom)

Added: 2002-01-02
Asleep in the Woods

Oil on canvas
Private collection

Added: 2002-01-02
Old Neighbour Gone Before

Oil on canvas
77.47 x 133.475 cm
(30½" x 52.55")
Collection of Fred and Sherry Ross (United States)

Added: 2002-01-02
The Annunciation

c1858
Oil on canvas
61.3 x 35.9 cm
(24.13" x 14.13")
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery (Birmingham, United Kingdom)

Added: 2003-03-27
The Long Engagement

c1854-c1859
Oil on canvas
105.4 x 52.1 cm
(41½" x 20.51")
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery (Birmingham, United Kingdom)

Added: 2003-03-27
The Nativity

1858
Oil on canvas
61.2 x 36.8 cm
(24.09" x 14.49")
Private collection

Added: 2003-03-27
La Belle Dame Sans Merci

1861-1863
Oil on canvas
153.67 x 123.19 cm
(60½" x 48½")
Private collection

Added: 2004-02-16