Thomas Francis Dicksee

(13 December 1819 - 6 November 1895)

He was a portraitist and painter of historical, genre subjects - often from Shakespeare - who was the pupil of H. P. Briggs. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1841 until the year of his death. His brother John Robert Dicksee was also a painter, and his children, Sir Francis Dicksee and Margaret likewise became painters. In The Dictionary of Victorian Painters, Herbert Dicksee is given as his son also, but according to the City of London School, where Herbert taught, he was the son of John Robert Dicksee.

Thomas Dicksee produced a series of portraits of family members, and also painted idealised portraits, including the Shakespearean characters 'Ophelia', 'Beatrice', 'Miranda' and 'Ariel'. A 'Juliet' is in the Sunderland Art Gallery, and 'At the Opera' is in the collection of Leicester Art Gallery. 'A portrait of Lady Teasdale' is in the Adelaide Art Gallery, Australia and an 'Ophelia' (1875; Mead Art Museum, Amherst, Massachusetts). Dicksee would become particularly well-known for his depictions of Shakespearean heroines and exhibited a total of seven at the Royal Academy. Other oil paintings have been seen in several auctions including 'Christ of the Cornfield', 'Beatrice', 'Distant Thoughts', 'Miranda' and 'Amy Robsart'.

Dicksee, Thomas Francis. (Brit.) Born in London, 1819. Brother of John Robert Dicksee (1817-1905), his junior by nearly three years, became his brother's emulator and pupil as soon as he was able to guide a pencil.

Displayed a taste for art at an early age, painting satisfactory portraits of his family and friends as a youth. In 1838 he entered the studio of H. P. Briggs, Royal Academy, and soon settled in London, as a portrait-painter. He has, however, executed many ideal figures drawn from the works of Shakspeare and kindred sources. Among these may be mentioned, "Anne Page" (in the British Institute, 1862), "Ophelia," "Juliet," "Cleopatra," "Joan of Arc," "Little Red Riding-Hood," "Young Pretender," "Joy," "Little Florist," and "Dressed for the Ball." In 1875 he sent to the Royal Academy, "Othello and Desdemona"; in 1877, "Cordelia"; in 1878, "Madeline."

Frank Dicksee, his son, medalist in 1875 of the Royal Academy Training-School, is a young artist of promise. He sent to the Royal Academy, in 1876, "Elijah confronting Ahab" and "Jezebel in Naboth's Vineyard"; in 1877, "Harmony."

[Artists of the Nineteenth Century and their Works. A Handbook containing Biographical Sketches. By Clara Erskine Clement and Laurence Hutton, 1879.] div