Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stephen Reid - The Appeal for Mercy

Reid was born in Aberdeen and studied there at Gray's School of Art before proceeding to the Royal Scottish Academy Schools in Edinburgh. He sent two pictures to the RSA in 1895, but by 1899 he had settled in London, where he exhibited twenty-four works at the Royal Academy (19(10-37) and a similar number at the Royal Society of British Artists (1905-15), of which he was a member. He also occasionally supported the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and the Liverpool and Manchester exhibitions.

A versatile talent, Reid painted historical subjects. landscapes and portraits. while around the turn of the century and in the 1900s he was quite a prolific illustrator of magazines and books. Most of the latter were historical and legendary works aimed at children; in 1910 he illustrated a version of the Siegfried legend that F.C. Pape was also treating at this period. Reid's paintings of historical subjects were strongly influenced by E.A. Abbey, as the present example shows. Dating from as late as 1936, it is an amazing example of Victorian survival and demonstrates vividly the resilience of the Pre-Raphaelite tradition. Such a major work was surely exhibited. but the Venue, if there was one, has not been identified.

Estimate: £15,000-20,000

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