George Elgar Hicks Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions

3-13-1824 Lymington, ENG – 1-16-1914 London, ENG

Hicks, George Elgar

George Elgar Hicks parents wanted him to become a doctor and so Hicks entered the University College to study medicine from 1840 to 1842. But, he found the study hard and not to his liking, regardless of what his parents wanted, he wanted to be an artist. He left the University and began his art training later in life than most artists of the time. In 1843, Hicks went to Sass's Academy and the next year was accepted into the Royal Academy Schools.

In 1847 George Elgar Hicks married Maria Harris and six of their eight children were born in the seven years following. He didn't make much progress as an artist during this period and later referred to his art as "small and unimportant." He blamed this on having little time to study art or interact with other artists, due to hectic family life. It could also be said he never got out of bed while making so many children.

In 1859, George Elgar Hicks painted his first large genre painting, Dividend Day at the Bank of England and it was exhibited at the Royal Academy that same year, following the success of Frith's paintings Ramsgate Sands and The Derby Day. Hicks' paintings were often of subjects that no other artists attempted, for example, The General Post Office One Minute to Six and Billingsgate Fish Market. Hicks was one of only a handful of artists that showed enduring enthusiasm for the copying of Frith's style and is generally considered Frith's principal imitator.

By the late 1860s, the popularity of genre painting had declined and George Elgar Hicks began to concentrate on historical subjects, and in the 1870' on high-society portraiture.

Art Movement: Victorian Classicism.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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