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William Dyce

Born: Aberdeen, 19 September 1806
Died: London, 15 February 1864
Nationality: Scottish

son of professor at Marischal College, Aberdeen


self-trained; Royal Academy (RA) Schools (1825)


1823 –Master’s degree in medicine and theology from Marischal College

1827 – meets Nazarene painters in Rome, including Friedrich Overbeck

1837 – becomes director of the Trustees’ Academy (Edinburgh); appointed director of Government School of Design (now Royal College of Art) in London, the first state funded design school in the UK

1843 – resigns from School of Design; publishes Order of Daily Service; enters competition for the decoration of Westminster Palace

1844 – Prince Albert commissions Hesperus, a fresco, for Buckingham Palace (destroyed)

1846 – commissioned to paint fresco Baptism of King Ethelbert in the House of Lords

1848 – begins series of frescos, Morte d’Arthur, for Westminster Palace Robing Room; dies before completing final fresco


Rome (1825, 1827)

Commissions from: 

Prince Albert (husband of Victoria, Queen of England); British government

Important Artworks: 

Madonna and Child, 1827-30 (Tate, London)

Francesca da Rimini, 1837 (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh) [Dante subject]

Pegwell Bay, Kent, 1858-60 (Tate, London)