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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Offering of the Day: A Skillfully Rendered Mixed Media Drawing by British Artist Herbert Thomas Dicksee

Herbert Thomas Dicksee (British, 1862-1942)
A Pack of Wolves Howling at the Moon
Charcoal and gouache on paper
18½ x 27¼ inches
Framed: 37 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches
 Initialed 'HD' lower left

Herbert T. Dicksee, the English painter, etcher and mezzotint engraver, became known particularly for his portrayal of animal subjects, namely lions and dogs. He spent a significant amount of his time at the London zoo painting its big cats, while also focusing his attention on the deerhound dog species. His works were executed primarily from life, and he kept many pets for inspiration. In addition he painted genre and historical subjects. Many of his canine works include a female sitter - the actress Gladys Cooper.

He came from a family of creatives. His father was the artist John Robert Dicksee (1817-1905). John's brother Thomas Francis (1819-1895), also a painter, was the father of Sir Frank Dicksee (1853-1928), president of the Royal Academy from 1924 until his death and Margaret Isabel Dicksee, also a painter. Herbert, meanwhile, had one sister, Amy. The records are often misguided when they site Thomas Francis Dicksee as Herbert's father.

Herbert Thomas studied art at the Slade School, where he won medals for painting and drawing from life and also the Slade Scholarship. In 1885 he exhibited at the Royal Academy and was also elected to be a member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers (R.E.). Additionally he was a drawing master at the City of London School and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painters and Etchers and the London Zoo.

The father of two lived in London with his wife Ella Crump until his death.   Prints and etchings of his best-known paintings were widely distributed by publishers such as Klackner of London, and his work is popular today among collectors and dog enthusiasts.

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