FRITH, William Powell (1819-1909). Artist.
FRITH,, William Powell 1819-1909. Artist
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Autograph Letter Signed ("W P Frith") to "My dear Mr McKay" [possibly Andrew Mckay, chairman Colnaghi 1864-1894]. 1 page 8vo with integral blank leaf, Eastbourne 30 August 1887.
"I was sure you were absent: your silence - after your kindness to me on all occasions could only be so interpreted. When you return the engravings shall be sent to you for advice - a profitable purchase - as the case may be - Hope you will enjoy your holiday".Frith was an intelligent artist who understood the market and the need for commercial appeal. Although initially being known for his work as a painter of historical subjects, in the 1850s he branched out to paint modern life on an epic scale. The risk paid off and paintings such as Life at the Seaside, Derby Day and The Railway Station were immensely popular and were reproduced in popular engravings. Frith and his wife Isabella had a large family of twelve children. Frith also had a mistress and a second large family to support which was a probable reason for his financial shrewdness and his desire to understand and gain the greatest return from his market. It was certainly the main reason for his inability to retire. As well as continuing to paint and exhibit in his later years (his last work at the Royal Academy was in the exhibition of 1906) Frith also turned his hand to writing. He produced his two-volume Autobiography and Reminiscences in 1887 and, due to its success Further Reminiscences rapidly followed in 1888. It is possible that the engravings Frith mentions in this letter relate to the publication of one of these books.
Stock Code: 11366