SHIELDS, Frederic (1833-1911). Artist, illustrator and designer.

SHIELDS,, Frederic 1833-1911. Artist, illustrator and designer


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Autograph Letter Signed ("Frederic Shields") to Mrs Combe, probably Martha Howell Bennett Combe, regarding Shields' friend William Holman Hunt..

2½ pages 8vo, Siena House, Lodge Place N.W., 3 April 1889.

"It is very grateful to me that the designer wins favour in your eyes, whose taste has been formed upon the noble works that are before your eyes continually - I know it will please my friend Holman Hunt that you approve - He stands alone in this age for consistent pursuit of the good aim he set before himself in youth - & I greatly honour him - I am always thankful that orders should pass through me . . . I have selected the two best impressions at the Company's office - and ordered them to be framed in agreement with your wishes - having also signed them - and will forward them as soon as they are complete . . . It will be a great pleasure to me . . . to visit Oxford - to renew acquaintance with your noble collection, and to accept your very kind invitation to see your face, whose name has long been familiar to me as their possessor."

Frederic Shields met Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Ford Madox Brown in 1864. John Ruskin had suggested Shields emulate Holman Hunt's handling of colour in order to improve. Shields and Holman Hunt later became friends and Holman Hunt asked Shields for advice regarding the frame for The Lady of Shalott (1890-1905).

Martha Combe's husband Thomas Combe was a printer and patron of the arts who acquired one of the most important early Pre-Raphaelite collections in the nineteenth century. He started collecting Pre-Raphaelite paintings at a time when the critical tide had yet to turn, and the survival of the brotherhood's works owed much to Combe's early patronage. The Combes met Holman Hunt in 1851, becoming both friends and patrons of the artist, buying some of his most important works including The Light of the World (1853-4).

Stock Code: 11520

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