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(b Birmingham, 28 Aug. 1833; d London, 16/17 June 1898). English painter, illustrator, and designer, a key figure in the second phase of Pre-Raphaelitism. In 1853 he began studying at Oxford University, intending to train for the priesthood, but his interest was turned to art first by William Morris, his fellow student, and then by Rossetti, who remained the decisive influence on him. He left Oxford without taking a degree in 1856 and settled in London. Rossetti gave him a few informal lessons and he attended life drawing classes for a while, but essentially he was self-taught; his taste was more classical than Rossetti's and his elongated forms owed much to the example of Botticelli. He favoured medieval and mythical (especially Arthurian) subjects and hated such modernists as the Impressionists, describing their subjects as ‘landscape and whores’.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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