John Phillip 4.19.13 Thought of the Day


John Phillip was born on this day in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1817. Today is the 196th anniversary of his birth.

Self Portrait Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums Collections [bbc.co.uk]

Self Portrait Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums Collections [bbc.co.uk]

His father was a former soldier and a shoe maker. The Phillip family was very poor. But John’s talents emerged when he was young and a patron made it possible for the boy to be educated at the Royal Academy of Arts in the Piccadilly area of London.

He was a member of The Clique, a group of artist started by Richard Dadd. The Clique eschewed high art in favor of genre painting (paintings of every day life).  The group, who were followers of Hogarth and Wilkie,  sketched a common subject and then critiqued each other’s work.

The Artist and His Wife (Maria Elizabeth Dadd) Aberdeen Art Gallery [bbc.co.uk]

The Artist and His Wife (Maria Elizabeth Dadd) Aberdeen Art Gallery [bbc.co.uk] He married Richard Dadd’s sister Maria Eliabeth Dadd.

In 1857 he was made an associate of the Royal Academy, he earned full membership in 1859.

Disgorging the Fly (Aberdeen Art Gallery) [BBC.co.uk]

Disgorging the Fly (Aberdeen Art Gallery) [BBC.co.uk]

At first Phillip focused on scenes that idealized his Scottish past — simple, traditional, pious. In 1851 he took a trip to Spain for health reasons and shifted to painting shifted Spanish every day life. He made a total of three trips to Spain.

The Marriage of the Princess Royal (sketch) a painting commissioned by Queen Victoria to commemorate the marriage of her daughter. (Aberdeen Art Gallery) [bbc.co.uk]

The Marriage of the Princess Royal (sketch) a painting commissioned by Queen Victoria to commemorate the marriage of her daughter. (Aberdeen Art Gallery) [bbc.co.uk]

Queen Victoria, a fan of Phillip’s work –“who considered him to be Britain’s greatest portrait painter and entrusted him to paint the Royal Family portraits.  [About Aberdeen.com]– dubbed him “Spanish Phillip.”

The Spanish Flower Seller (Aberdeen Art Gallery) [bbc.co.uk]
The Spanish Flower Seller (Aberdeen Art Gallery) [bbc.co.uk]

Phillip was an immensely competent artist, his work distinguished by a boldness of handling and a strong sense of colour and chiaroscuro which seem typically Scottish. Spain bought out these characteristics, and the resulting paintings are dazzling evocations of Spanish life at its most picturesque and exotic, delighting in dramatic contrasts of light and shade and brilliant local colour illuminated by strong sunlight. [Golden Age Paintings.blogspot]

The Evil Eye (The Stirling Smith Art Gallery) [bbc.co.uk]
The Evil Eye (The Stirling Smith Art Gallery) [bbc.co.uk]

He died on February 27,  1867 in London.

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About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer and graphic designer in Northern Baltimore County. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (travel and local interest stories.) Most recently my non fiction writing has been featured in Mason-Dixon ARRIVE Magazine. As a graphic designer I focus on cover designs and have done a number of designs for books and magazines. Recently I've entered the e-book cover field. I also enjoy working with community organizations and churches to bring their communications to a higher standard. As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one on one lessons to middle and high school students in graphic design and music. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

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