9/30/2023, 11:55:54

Herbert Dicksee - Artist

Herbert Dicksee was born in 1862 and later studied art at the Slade school of art on a scholarship, later assuming the role of drawing master 1895-1927.

Herbert was born into an illustrious artist family. His father was the artist John Dicksee 1817-1905. Johns brother Thomas 1819-1895 was also a painter and the father of the artist Sir Frank Dicksee 1853-1928.

Although Herbert was an accomplished oil painter he is better known for his numerous etchings. One of the greatest wild animal and dog artists of his generation he was an expert on the character and behaviour of his animal subjects, in particular the power and majesty of Lions. He spent many an hour at London Zoo sketching lions, tigers etc, he could spend at least three to four months per plate (etching) and later became a fellow of London Zoo.

His etchings were produced to a really high standard, he would replicate his sketches by etching onto the printing plate, paying excellent detail to light and shade, to produce almost photographic quality.

Herbert’s paintings were usually done from life, he had numerous pet dogs which often featured in his etchings, including several pugs and bull terriers, a bloodhound and a French bulldog named ‘Shaver’.

Many of Dicksee’s works, especially those made during the war, depicted the dogs accompanying melancholy young ladies. His most frequent model was the actress Gladys Cooper.

Herbert Dicksee exhibited 51 works at the Royal Academy from 1885 (Watercress Beds) to 1904 (The Wishing Pool). Herbert married Ella Crump in 1896, they had two children, Maurice (who was killed in World War 1)and their daughter Dorothy. Herbert Dicksee died in 1942 in Hampstead, England, as part of his will Dorothy was instructed to have most of his etching plates destroyed.

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