William Edward Dighton


Landscape painter, was a pupil of William Miiller, and afterwards of Frederick Goodall. He exhibited Eng lish landscape scenery at the British Institution and Royal Academy from 1844 to 1851, after which he visited the East, and in 1853 sent to the Royal Academy two pictures, 'The Ruins of the Temple of Luxor' and 'Bethany.' Dighton died at Hampstead in 1853, aged 31. Had he lived, he would doubtless have made a name in the world of art. He left behind him many fine works, which are for the most part in private collections in Liverpool.

[Bryan's dictionary of painters and engravers, 1903

William Edward Dighton was born in 1822. He was a landscape painter of great promise. In 1838, he became the pupil of William James Miiller, and continued with him until 1841, when fearing to be impressed too much by the style of a master for whose works he had the deepest admiration, he felt it necessary to withdraw himself from that influence; and from this period may be said to have become very distinctly a disciple of Nature alone. Edward Dighton painted many fine works, which are principally in collections at Liverpool, and the subjects chosen by him were mostly river scenes on the Thames, the Avon, and the Medway; also the mountain scenery of North Wales, and views from Egypt, Syria, and the Holy Land. A picture, exhibited in 1847, entitled Hayfield in a Shower, elicited warm praise from Ruskin in his work on Modern Painters. In 1884, a loan collection of Mr. Dighton's works, contributed by Hampstead residents, formed an exhibition at Rugby, and created much interest. The early death of this artist occurred in Hampstead, where he had resided for some years, in September, 1853. The French writer, Siret, justly remarks of him -- "Mort jeune au milieu de brillantes esperances."

[© /ownership: Records of the manor, parish, and borough of Hampstead, in the county of London, to December 31st, 1889, Edward Dighton, By Miss Blanche Cowper Baines.]

"September 28," 1853. -- "Edward Dighton is dead! -- one of the finest men I ever saw; a sort of cross of Hercules and Apollo." It is added in a foot-note -- "A man who had, in a most remarkable degree, the faculity of winning the love of all who came under his influence." His younger brother, George, who was a painter of much promise and a distinguished rifle-shot, built and resided for some years in the attractive house known as The Hermitage in Windsor Terrace; and his nephew, E. A. Dighton is a ratepayer of the borough.