Autograph Letter Signed "Val Prinsep" to "Dear Mrs Reiss" [possibly Mrs Leopold Reiss, wife of the founder of the Halle Orchestra].

PRINSEP, Valentine "Val" Cameron 1838-1904. Pre-Raphaelite artist


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Prinsep apologises and offers a credible excuse for missing an engagement:

"I am very sorry not to have been able to hear your music & see you last night. I had to go to Kensington Palace first & there on coming out was overtaken by a shower & soaked before I could get a cab. I hope you will excuse me".

Val Prinsep was the son of the Indian civil servant and author Thoby Prinsep and his wife Sara. The Prinseps moved into Little Holland House on Lord Holland's estate in Kensington in 1851 and were joined by their friend George Frederick Watts the following year. At Little Holland House Sara Prinsep built up a salon around Watts, establishing one of the most important artistic centres of the nineteenth century. Guests and friends who were part of the scene included Tennyson, Thackeray, Browning, Holman Hunt, Millais, Leighton, D. G. Rossetti, Burne-Jones and Sara Prinsep's sister, Julia Margaret Cameron. Many became firm friends with Val Prinsep and this creative environment resulted in his ultimately eschewing his intended career in the Indian civil service in favour of becoming an artist.

In 1857 he directly came under the influence of Pre-Raphaelitism as he was one of the artists to decorate the Union debating hall in Oxford with Rossetti. He travelled in Italy with Burne-Jones and built neighbouring houses in Kensington with his closest friend Leighton. In 1884 he married Florence Leyland, daughter of the shipping magnate and patron of the Pre-Raphaelites, Frederick Leyland, after which he joined the boards of shipping and investment companies whilst continuing to paint.

Although artistically never of the first rank, Prinsep was a dedicated artist who exhibited yearly at the Royal Academy until his death and was liked and well-respected by his peers.

Some glue residue to verso, otherwise near fine.

Stock Code: 11309

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