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George Woolliscroft Rhead (1854-1920)

Biography of the painter, etcher and designer George Woolliscroft Rhead (1854-1920)

George Woolliscroft Rhead (1854-1920), an English painter, etcher and designer of stained glass and ceramics, was born in 1854 in North Staffordshire as the eldest of the eleven children of George Wooliscroft Rhead (Senior).

Rhead's masterwork Sacrifice to Neptune [92x204cm] was exhibited at The New Gallery in 1904. The themes within the painting are Authority, Retribution, Vanity, Love, Trust, Innocence, Beauty and Renaissance. Rhead drew inspiration for this painting from the ancient Greco-Roman story of Perseus and Andromeda, where Andromeda was forcibly offered as a sacrifice to calm Neptune's rage, which had been caused by her parents, the King and Queen of Ethiopia, proclaiming that their child (Andromeda) was more beautiful than all the daughters of Neptune. To appease Neptune and calm the storms and floods that were engulfing the Kingdom, the price was her sacrifice and so Beauty and Love are offered up to satisfy a vengeful God.

Rhead was taught by the Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Maddox Brown. Few paintings by the artist appear on the market and indeed there are a number of small paintings with the same title as the masterwork

Rhead was member of the Society of Painter Etchers and Engravers, creating hundreds of illustrations and prints, which provided the major part of his income. Records show that he exhibited at various venues including the Dudley Gallery, Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, The International Society, The Liverpool Walker Art Gallery, The London Salon, The Royal Academy and The Royal Society of Painter Etchers and Engravers.

He married the Scottish artist Annie French and taught at the Putney School of Art from 1896. In 1916, Rhead was living at Doune Lodge in Putney. He died in 1920.

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George Woolliscroft Rhead (1854-1920) Related Lots

Lot FS21/261

Lot FS21/261: George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - A Sacrifice To Neptune

George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - A Sacrifice to Neptune - signed and inscribed on the backboard further inscribed with artist's address Doune Lodge, Oxford Rd., Putney, SW watercolour heightened with bodycolour 16 x 39cm.

Estimate: £800 - £1,200
Realised: £14,000

Lot FS21/295

Lot FS21/295: Annie French [1872-1865] & George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - The Bride and Three Attendant Bridesmaids

Annie French [1872-1865] & George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - The Bride and three attendant bridesmaids - etching and aquatint signed by both in pencil in the bottom left margin plate size 20 x 20cm.

Estimate: £300 - £500
Realised: £580

Lot FS21/291

Lot FS21/291: George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Bacchanalian Revelry

George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Bacchanalian Revelry - coloured etching signed in pencil 11 x 35cm, together with one other soft ground etching of a sleeping beauty.

Estimate: £250 - £350
Realised: £320

Lot FS21/283

Lot FS21/283: George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Flower Girl

George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Flower Girl - etching signed in pencil 30 x 20cm, together with an etching of a dragon fly and foxgloves.

Estimate: £200 - £300
Realised: £200

Lot FS21/294

Lot FS21/294: George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Winter's Cloak

George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Winter's Cloak - etching, signed in the bottom left margin plate size 20.5 x 26.5cm.

Estimate: £200 - £300
Realised: £400

Lot FS21/281

Lot FS21/281: George Woolliscroft Rhead [1855-1920] - Fair Rosamond

George Woolliscroft Rhead [1855-1920] - Fair Rosamond - watercolour, pen and ink drawing 33 x 24cm.

Estimate: £200 - £300
Realised: £2,900

Lot FS21/292

Lot FS21/292: George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Elf on A Toad Stool; Maiden on A Bat

George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Elf on a toad stool; Maiden on a bat two, one signed watercolours each 16 x 30cm, unframed, together with an associated letter to Cissie, the daughter of GW Rhead, dated December 1950.

Estimate: £150 - £250
Realised: £580

Lot FS21/293

Lot FS21/293: George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Illustration For the Story of Vivian From Tennyson's Idylls of the Kings

George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Illustration for the Story of Vivian from Tennyson's Idylls of the Kings pen and ink drawing 47 x 345cm.

Estimate: £150 - £250
Realised: £220

Lot FS21/280

Lot FS21/280: George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Bacchanalian Revelry

George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Bacchanalian Revelry - coloured etching signed in pencil 11 x 35cm.

Estimate: £100 - £150
Realised: £120

Lot FS21/282

Lot FS21/282: George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Village Street Scene

George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920] - Village street scene - signed watercolour 26 x 37cm.

Estimate: £100 - £150
Realised: £300