Painter and illustrator born in Norwich as Antonio Frederick Augustus Sands. He received his earliest art instruction from his father, himself an artist, and in 1846 Frederick Sandys, as he was known, attended the Norwich School of Design. He had begun by drawing for 'Once a Week', the 'Cornhill Magazine', 'Good Words' and other periodicals and as no books have been traced that he has illustrated, it is assumed that he only drew in the magazines. Early in the 1860s, he began to exhibit the paintings which were to make him famous and for a time he shared a house in Chelsea with his friend Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Sandys painted oils much in the Pre-Raphaelite style, his work being characterised by the superiority of its draughtsmanship and a proclivity for femmes fatales.
Never a prolific exhibitor he did however show at the FAS, Walker Art Gallery, NG, RP, RA and ISSPG. Examples of his work are located in the collections of Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Bradford Art Gallery, Norwich Art Gallery, Birmingham Art Gallery andManchester City Art Gallery.
He became known as a heavy drinker and gambler and his popularity as an artist was declining whilst his family was steadily increasing and money was tight. What little there was, Sandys often gambled away. Eventually he was declared bankrupt in 1873 to the then huge sum of £4,948, which is equivalent to nearly half a million pounds in 2014. This was not to be the only time as notices of his bankruptcy appeared again in 1884 and 1899.
Text source: Liss Llewellyn