Eyre Crowe A.R.A.

(3 October 1824 - 12 December 1910)



Born at 141 Sloane Street, Chelsea; reared in France from age two. He was baptized at St. Luke’s parish church in nearby Chelsea on 10 November. Studied under Paul Delaroche in Paris, and went with his master to Rome in 1843, returned to London in 1844, and entered the schools of the Royal Academy the same year. His first picture, "Master Prynne searching the Pockets of Archbishop Laud in the Tower," was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1846.
Among his earlier works are:
"The Roman Carnival," (1848)
"Holbein painting Edward VI." (1849)
"Milton visiting Galileo in Prison" (1859)
"Boswell's Introduction to the Club" and
"Swift reading a Letter from Stella" (1860)
"A Virginia Slave Sale" and
"A Barber's Shop " (1861) (from sketches made in the United States, a few years before).
"DeFoe in the Pillory" (1862), to the Royal Academy.
"Brick Court, Middle Temple representing the burial of Goldsmith, April, 1774" (1863)
"Luther posting his Theses on the Church-Door of Wittenberg" (1864)
Many of these pictures, careful in treatment and popular in subject, have been engraved.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy:
"The Vestal" (1870)
"Old Mortality" (1871)
"Out of School" (1872)
"Tethered" (1873)
"A Sheep-Shearing Match" (1875)
"Darning Day", "Red Maid's School, Bristol" (1876), (when elected an Associate of the Royal Academy, 12 April 1876)
"Sanctuary," "Silkworms" (Blue-Coat Boys), and "Prayer" (1877)
"The School-Treat" (1878)
"Goldsmith's Mourners" and "After a Run" were at Philadelphia (1876).
"The French Savants in Egypt" was at Paris in 1878.

"This artist has a dry and hard handling, and appears to take little pleasure in his color, although what he gives honestly attempts to render natural lighting, -- a rarer quality than one might imagine among oil-painters, sorely tempted to get effects by ingenious devices which they know will often pass muster We would suggest that this picture, 'Preaching of Whitfield', would engrave well, and be likely to succeed." -- Palgrave's Essays on Art.

"There are few painters who more seriously endeavor to interpret their subjects than Mr. Crowe. He is not afraid of reality, and does not shrink from scenes that less robust minds would consider vulgar. His method of interpretation is studious and faithful, observant of truth without any temptation to display his mastery over facts by an emphasis of trivial incidents. His work lacks the highest inspiration which turns the forms of Nature into forms of grace and still keeps them true; but his pictures are always interesting from the amount of earnest work they contain." -- Art Journal, August, 1874.


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CROWE, EYRE, the son of Mr. Eyre Evans Crowe, author of the History of France, was bom in Sloane Street, Chelsea, in October, 1824. He received his first instruction in drawing from Mr. William Darley, and afterwards went to Paris with his family, and entered the studio of Paul Delaroche. On the latter proceeding to "Home in the Autumn" of 1843, many of his pupils (then above a hundred in number), seized the opportunity of accompanying him, and amongst the rest the subject of the present notice. The invaluable hints which this great master threw out on this occasion were gratefully received by those who participated in the advantage of them; they referred to the distinct heads of study, first the study of the great master-pieces of antiquity and those of the revival in Italy, and secondly, in putting prominently before the student the sources of the successful inspiration of the great leaders of the Italian Schools. In 1844, Mr. Crowe, having inspected the great works of the Umbrian School at Perugia, etc., and the splendours of Florence, Pisa, etc., returned to England, where he was admitted a student at the Royal Academy. He also, at this time, worked at Etty's favourite resort, the St. Martin's Lane painting School.

In 1846, he exhibited at the Royal Academy his first picture; "Master Prynne searching Archbishop Laud's Pockets in the Tower", which was purchased by an Art Union prize-holder. The next year he sent a picture, "The Battle of Agincourt", to the Westminster Hall competition Exhibition, which was not fortunate enough to obtain a prize. "The Roman Carnival" appeared in 1848, and "A Scene in the Life of Holbein, when painting King Edward VI." in 1849.

After an interval of some years, during which Mr. Crowe visited the United States of America, he produced:
"A Scene at the Mitre" (1857), representing Dr. Johnson, Boswell, and Goldsmith, discussing a bottle after the success of the latter's "Good-natured Man", which was purchased by Messrs. Agnew of Manchester, and engraved for Mr. Graves. The success of this production induced the artist to follow it up (in 1868), by another upon a subject of a congenial character, viz.: "Pope's Introduction to Dryden, at Will's Coffee-House", with portraits of Tonson, Steele, Vanborough, Addison, and others. In this year he also exhibited "A Scene at Watts's Printing House in Lincoln's Inn Fields, a.d. 1725"; where Benjamin Franklin, the true precursor of teetotalism, is endeavouring to convert his brother printers from their fondness for beer. In 1859, came two pictures illustrating the Puritan period of our History; -- "Milton Visiting Galileo in the prison of the Inquisition", the other, the origin of the word "Roundhead"; in 1860 (at the winter Exhibition), "Boswell's Introduction to the Club", which met in Gerard Street, Soho, has been engraved:
"Swift reading a letter from Stella" (1860)
"A Scene at a Virginian Slave Sale" (1861) (at the Winter Exhibition)
"A Barber's Shop", at the British Institution, both from recollections of what the artist had witnessed in the Southern States.
"Daniel DeFoe in the Pillory" (1862), (at the Royal Academy, to which the Society of Fine Arts awarded their silver medal).
"A scene in Johnson's Court, representing the closing event in Goldsmith's chequered career" (1863).

[A Biographical and Critical Dictionary of Recent and Living Painters and Engravers; forming a supplement to Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers as edited by George Stanley, by Henry Ottley, 1876; Artists of the Nineteenth Century, Works & Biographical Sketches. By Clara Erskine Clement & Laurence Hutton, 1879.]]



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