Born 200 years ago today, he should have been one of the major artists of the 19th century, but died when he had only just turned 37.
A pupil of JAD Ingres when he was only 11 years old, his first work exhibited at the Salon when he was only 16: a precocious and brilliant narrative artist.
As narrative painting went into decline, Ophelia became even more popular. From Henrietta Rae through sub-aqua views to Waterhouse’s obsession.
Millais’ wonderful painting of Ophelia wasn’t the first such work. From West and Delacroix to Rossetti and Bastien-Lepage, here she is.
Boy meets girl but has to swim a mile in treacherous waters to keep meeting her. When she tells him how she burns with passion, he pushes his luck in the sea.
West turns to a series of more classical mythological stories for his paintings between 1792 and 1802. These include Shakespeare, the Bible, and the first novel.
In memory of Richard Dadd: ten of his best, and thoughts about his life and work. Would we have been any better towards him even now?
In 1864, he was transferred to the newly-built Broadmoor Asylum. Despite that disruption, he continued to paint.
In which Dadd becomes a nineteenth-century Bosch on some seriously psychotropic drugs. It is a masterpiece like no other.
A couple of watercolours give some insight into those around him, and pose a perplexing puzzle. He ended the 1850s with another masterpiece based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.