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17 GEORGE ELGAR HICKS RBA
Lymington 1824-1914 Odiham
28 LOUIS BOSWORTH HURT
George Elgar Hicks painted a variety of subjects including religious scenes, landscapes and his preferred form of genre scenes. His most famous works were his extraordinarily detailed portrayals of Victorian life which are reminiscent of the great Victorian novelists Charles Dickens and George Augustus Sala in their narrative intensity and documentary power. Perhaps the best known of these images are General Post Office, one minute to six, Billingsgate Fish Market, Woman’s Mission, Changing Homes and Before the magistrates. Late in life Hicks developed his skill as a portraitist. The Athenaeum commented upon the significance Hicks’s views of Victorian life would hold for future generations: ‘Mr G E Hicks hit upon a good idea when he resolved to paint for us the scenes which take place at some of the well-known places of business of the City of London...Such pictures, even less well painted than these really are, will be interesting for the future time, and therefore we shall be thankful to get them as creditably executed as [those of Hicks are.]’ Hicks studied for a medical degree at University College, London, before becoming an artist. He studied at Sass’s Academy and the Royal Academy Schools, which he entered in 1844. He won a Silver medal for his studies from the Antique. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1848, though many of his works reached their greatest fame through their exhibition at private gallerys which gained enormous prestige in the mid-nineteenth century art world, in particular Henry Wallis’ French Gallery. The vast dissemination of these compelling images in the form of prints engraved for the print dealer Louis Victor Flatow, ensured the enormous and enduring popularity of the artist. He married Maria Harriss in 1847 and the marriage produced six children, Georgina, Edward, Frederick, Mary, Rosa Gordon and Annie. Several of these children died in childhood and Hicks lost his wife Maria in 1880. He remarried in 1884 to Anne Ross. He lived most of his life in London and Hampshire. The work of George Elgar Hicks is represented in the Manchester City Art Gallery, the Geffrye Museum, the Museum of London and Tate Britain, London.
Louis Bosworth Hurt was a landscape painter and his subjects were mostly Highland scenes with cattle. His talent for rendering the effects of mist on the Highland mountains won him particular fame. He was a pupil of George Turner of Barrow-on-Trent, and was influenced by his master's style. Louis Bosworth Hurt was born at Ashbourne in Derbyshire. In 1885, Hurt married a fellow artist Harriet Marion Bickley. They moved to Ivonbrook House, Darley Dale, near Matlock, Derbyshire, where they lived for the rest of their lives. The family kept Highland cattle in a paddock on the property from which the artist could make life studies. Hurt frequently visited the island of Skye and the Highlands. The artist owned a cottage in Bettws-y-Coed, Snowdonia, where he spent much time painting. He also travelled South to the New Forest whose beech trees fascinated him. Hurt exhibited thirteen works at the Royal Academy between 1881 and 1901 and his titles included In a northern glen, The silence of the woods, Peaceful loch and Mist-wreathed hill. He also exhibited regularly at the Royal Society of Artists, Suffolk Street and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and at numerous provincial venues among them the Glasgow Institute and the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham. He showed at numerous exhibitions held in provincial art galleries as well, including the Manchester City Art Gallery, the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and Nottingham Museum. Hurt had many influential patrons. Sir Merton Russell-Cotes who founded the Bournemouth Art Gallery, William Issac Palmer, the brother of George Palmer, who with Thomas Huntley formed the firm of 'Huntley and Palmer' and George McCulloch were among the eminent nineteenth century collectors and connoisseurs who sought out Hurt’s work. The work of Louis Bosworth Hurt is represented in the Bournemouth Art Gallery, the Manchester City Art Gallery, the Reading Museum and the National Art Gallery, South Africa.