John McEwen

Vigour and Pith

William Powell Frith: A Painter and His World

By

Sutton Publishing 272pp £20 order from our bookshop

In his mid-Victorian heyday William Powell Frith (1819–1909), best remembered as the painter of Ramsgate Sands (1852–54), Derby Day (1856–58) and The Railway Station (1860–62), was the most highly priced artist in the world. Even as late as 1875 his period piece Before Dinner in Boswell’s Lodgings, first exhibited in 1868, fetched £4,500 at Christie’s, the record price for a work by a living artist – easily comparable with the million-plus equivalents currently paid for contemporary art.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Same trouble, different decade. Turns out this is not the first time has graced our humble cover.… ,
    • 'Gresham played an essential part in ensuring the stability of Tudor rule, in ways not always recognised in textboo… ,
    • Iris Murdoch was born one hundred years ago today. Thirty-six years ago, we published this interview with her ,
    • 'The official narrative has been that since the end of coal-burning in homes in the 1950s and the demise of heavy i… ,
    • 'Porter’s is a cacophonous vision that continually recalls the playwright Tony Kushner’s characterisation of Americ… ,
    • Lucy Moore makes her way through the Italian city of Otranto, discussing the origins of the Gothic and the legacy o… ,
    • .@NJCooper_crime's July crime roundup includes 'horrifying' and 'imaginative' new novels by @sarah_hilary,… ,