Published 18th December 2013
George Wooliscroft Rhead's masterwork Sacrifice to Neptune [92 x 204cm] was exhibited at The New Gallery in 1904. The themes in the painting are Authority, Retribution, Vanity, Love, Trust, Innocence, Beauty and Renaissance and Rhead draws inspiration from the ancient Greco-Roman story of Perseus and Andromeda who was offered as a sacrifice to calm Neptune's rage caused by her parents, the King and Queen of Ethiopia, who proclaimed their child Andromeda was more beautiful than all the daughters of Neptune. To appease him and calm the storms and floods engulfing the Kingdom, the price was her sacrifice, and so Beauty and Love are offered up to satisfy a vengeful God.
George Wooliscroft Rhead was taught by the Pre-Raphaelite founder Ford Maddox Brown. Few paintings by the artist appear on the market but there are a number of small paintings with the same title as the masterwork A Sacrifice to Neptune, this being one which we will sell on 21st January 2014 along with other works by GW Rhead, his brothers Frederick Alfred Rhead and Louis Rhead and his niece Charlotte Rhead.
Rhead was a member of the Society of Painter Etchers and Engravers, creating hundreds of illustrations and prints which provided the major part of his income. 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 [for whom we have an etching in the same sale FS21] and taught at the Putney School of Art from 1896. In 1916, he was living at Doune Lodge Putney which is the address on the backboard to this painting.
21 January 2014
George Woolliscroft Rhead [1854-1920]
A Sacrifice to
signed and inscribed on the backboard
further inscribed with artists address Doune Lodge,
watercolour heightened with bodycolour
16 x 39cm.