FRANK DILLON

(24 February 1823 - 2 May 1909)

Landscape painter, born in London, was the youngest son of John Dillon, of the firm of Morrison, Dillon & Co., silk mercers, of Fore Street, London, and the owner of a fine collection of water-colour drawings which was sold by auction in 1869.

After having been educated at Bruce Castle School, Tottenham, he entered the schools of the Royal Academy, and subsequently became a pupil of James Holland, the water-colour painter. He there began painting in oil-colours, and in 1850 sent to the Royal Academy a view 'On the Tagus, Lisbon,' and until 1907 was a fairly regular contributor to its exhibitions, as well as to those of the British Institution until its close in 1867. He was one of the original members of the Dudley Gallery, and after it ceased to exist he, in 1882, became a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. He travelled much, and as early as 1850 he published a folio volume of 'Sketches in the Island of Madeira.' He visited Egypt first in 1854, and many of his works were the outcome of this and subsequent visits to that country. Among these were: 'Rising of the Nile: Philse,' 'The Nile Raft,' 'Luxor, on the Nile,' 'The Sphinx at Midnight,' 'The Great Pyramid,' 'The Pyramids from Gizeh,' 'The Date Harvest, Egypt,' and 'The Granite Quarries of Syene.' He took a keen interest in the preservation of the Arab monuments of Cairo, and was active in opposition to the destruction of Philae. He also studied appreciatively the arts of Japan, spending a year in that country in 1876-7, and writing an introduction to the catalogue of the 'Exhibition of Japanese and Chinese Works of Art,' held at the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1878.

In early life he was in full sympathy with the liberal movement of 1848, when he formed a lifelong friendship with Mazzini. He was intimate also with many of the leaders of the Hungarian revolution, and assisted them when in exile. Dillon died unmarried at 13 Upper Phillimore Gardens, Kensington.

Eleven drawings by him of interiors of houses in Cairo are in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

[The Times, 5 and 8 May 1909; Athenæum, 8 May 1909; Art Journal, July 1909; Exhibition Catalogues of the Royal Academy, British Institution, Dudley Gallery, and Royal Institute of Painters in Water-colours, 1850-1907.] div

Frank Dillon, (Brit.) Born in London, 1823. He studied art in the Royal Academy, and under James Holland, spending his professional life in London, with the exception of a protracted visit to the East. He has exhibited frequently for some years at the Society of British Artists and the Royal Academy, among the better known of his works being, "Evening on the Tagus," "The Colossal Pair, Thebes," "The Pyramids at Sunrise," "Emigrants on the Nile," "The Nile near the First Cataract," "The Sands of Egypt," "A Japanese Interior," etc. He painted four Egyptian pictures for the Khedive of Egypt.

His "Courtyard of the House of the Sheikh Said at Cairo" was at the Paris Exposition of 1878. In 1877 he exhibited in London a series of drawings in water-color, illustrating the customs, manners, and scenery of Japan.

"Among the artists who profess Oriental scenery, there are none who distinguish themselves more than Mr. F. Dillon. 'The Tombs of the Menilook Sultans of Egypt' [R. A., 1873] has been repeatedly painted, but never with better effect than here." -- Art Journal, June, 1873.

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