Edwin Longsden Long

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Edwin Longsden Long

English Academic Classical artist

Born 1829 - Died 1891

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Edwin Longsden Long
by Paul Ripley

Long, who was born in Bath was a successful classical painter. In his youth he twice tried to enrol at the Royal Academy Schools, but was refused entry due to deficiencies in his drawing. He moved back to Bath as a result of these setbacks. In 1857 he visited Spain on the advice of John Phillip 1817-1867, whose faltering career had been revitalised by a sojourn there. In all he visited Spain three times, & developed like Phillip a talent for Spanish genre painting. Long visited the Holy Land in 1874, & began to produce large, rather static, pictures of incidents from the Bible. His painting “ The Babylonian Marriage Market,” was a great success at the Royal Academy in 1875, & was afterwards sold for the enormous sum of £7350, making him financially secure. Longs pictures, like those of Alma-Tadema, were praised for the accuracy of their historic settings, & the precise rendering of historical artefacts. Long produced a number of very large canvasses with biblical scenes which made him a wealthy high profile artist. Their appeal is somewhat difficult for us to understand in the more secular world we live in today. Long became a full Academician in 1881. He died suddenly of pnuemonia in 1891, & his reputation quickly declined. The major collector of his work was Merton Russell-Cotes. See our section about the Russell-Cotes Gallery.

Source: Victorian Art in Britain.

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