The Magic Crystal
Sir Frank Bernard Dicksee (1853 - 1928) was the son and pupil of Thomas Francis Dicksee (a painter and etcher,)
and brother of Margaret Dicksee. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s he painted historical, literary, biblical and
allegorical subjects in a lavishly-costumed and richly coloured style that earned him great success and popularity.
Although he was not a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a number of his paintings are very Pre-Raphaelite
in subject matter and in technique.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1876, becoming successively ARA (1881), RA (1891). In 1900 he was
awarded a medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition. The year before his painting 'The Two Crowns' had been voted the
most popular picture at the Royal Academy summer exhibition. In 1924 he was elected to president of the Royal
Academy, but this was seen by many as a mere concession to his seniority as opposed to his position in the art world.
By the end of his career he was opposed to modernism of any kind and was regarded as old-fashioned by his
Sir Frank Dicksee