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Frederick Sandys

Antonio Frederic Augustus Sands

Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys (born Antonio Frederic Augustus Sands) (1 May 1829 – 25 June 1904), but usually known as Frederick Sandys, was an English painter, illustrator and draughtsman, associated with the Pre-Raphaelites. He was also associated with the Norwich School of painters.

He was born in Norwich, and received his earliest lessons in art from his father, Anthony Sands, who was himself a painter. His early studies show that he had a natural gift for careful and beautiful drawing. He was educated at Norwich School and later attended the Norwich School of Design in 1846. In the same and next year his talent was recognized by the Royal Society of Arts.

He married Georgiana Creed, but this marriage only lasted three years, although they never divorced. He had a long affair with the Romany woman Keomi Gray, who sat as a model both for him and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and perhaps also for Simeon Solomon. He and Gray had two daughters and two sons.

In 1862 Sandys met actress Mary Emma Jones, known as Miss Clive, when she modeled for The Magdalen, now owned by the Norwich Castle Museum. A relationship developed between the two, he became devoted to her, taking her as his common-law wife for the rest of his life. She gave birth to a large number of children, 10 of whom were raised under the name of Neville and survived after Sandys' death. His work Proud Maisie made in 1867, was inspired by Mary, so much so that he made at least 11 versions by 1904. He influenced his younger sister Emma Sandys (1843–1877), whose works were mainly portraits of children and of young women, often in period or medieval clothing.

He died in Kensington in west London in 1904.

He displayed great skills as a draughtsman, achieving recognition with his print parodying John Everett Millais's Sir Isumbras at the Ford in 1857. The caricaturist turned the horse of Sir Isumbras into a donkey labelled J. R., Oxon. (John Ruskin). Upon it were seated Millais himself, in the character of the knight, with Rossetti and William Holman Hunt as the two children, one before and one behind. The caricature, produced using the new autographic lithographic, caused a lot of talk about who the artist might be and ultimately introduced Sandys to the London art community.

Rossetti and Sandys became close friends, and from May 1866 to July 1867, Sandys lived with Rossetti in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. Sandys’s works were profoundly influenced by those of Rossetti. He focused mainly on mythological subjects and portraits.

Some of the first introductions to Pre-Raphaelite teachings emerged in magazines, such as Once a Week, the Cornhill Magazine, Good Words and Sunday Magazine. Sandys began drawing in the 1860s for Once a Week, the Cornhill Magazine, Good Words and other periodicals, his work influenced by Albrecht Dürer, Ambrosius Holbein, and Alfred Rethel. Sandys made a total of 26 between 1859 and 1866, but each was a fine representation of this genre, faithfully engraved by professional wood-engravers, including the Dalziel brothers and Joseph Swain, that they are worthy of the collector's portfolio. For the engravers to be successful in carving the intricate illustrations onto wood, they needed to start with a detailed, clear design from the artist. Sandys had an eye and talent for exacting detail, an intention to accurately reflect the subject, revealed in the quality of his works, equally impressive for its technical detail as for its imaginative point of view.

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Frederick Sandys Artworks
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