argaret Dicksee (1858-1903) belonged to a London family of painters. Her father, Thomas Francis Dicksee, exhibited at the RA from 1841, alongside his brother John, while her brother Frank became a very successful painter and her cousin Herbert specialised in etching. Supported in her wish to paint by her parents, she studied at the Female School of Art and then the RA Schools, and began exhibiting in 1881 (RSBA). As a novice, she worked for The Quiver and other illustrated periodicals. From 1883 her work was seen at the RA almost annually until 1901. From The Child Handel (1893) her compositions of famous people in their childhood proved very popular in exhibition and were engraved in such publications as The Graphic and The Girl's Own Paper, and in several cases purchased for regional public galleries.
Then, becoming ill in middle age, she went abroad in an effort to recover, but died after "a terrible illness, borne with rare patience and fortitude," at the age of forty-five, in June 1903. One obituary notice observed that "there can be little doubt that but for her sex her name would have figured in the list of associates of the Royal Academy."
[*** = these paintings discussed on the site so far.]
- Mrs H.D. Shepard (1883)
- Deepening Shadows (The Old Curiosity Shop) (1884)
- The May Queen (1885)
- The Village Blacksmith (1886)
- A Dawning Life (1887)
- The Conscript (1888)
- Flower Offerings (1889)
- In Memoriam (1890)
- The Wife (1890)
- Light in Darkness (1891)
- Miss Angel (1892)
- The Child Handel (1893)***
- The first Audience (1894)
- The Children of Charles I (1895)***
- The early Days of Swift and Stella (1896)
- A Sacrifice of Vanities (1898)
- Sheridan at the Linleys' (1899)
- The first Commission (Sir Thomas Lawrence as a boy) (1901)
- The Childhood of Walter Scott (1902, unfinished)
Anon. "Obituary." Magazine of Art, July 1903: 524.
Brewer, Jeannie Rose. "Margaret Dicksee, painter." Girl's Own Paper, November 1906: 641.
Levi, Arthur. "The Art of Margaret Dicksee." Windsor Magazine. Vol. xxvi (September 1907): 369-82.
Created 4 April 2022