John Seymour Lucas RA RI (1849-1923)

J. Seymour Lucas.

The genre painter John Seymour Lucas specialised in pictures of modern life, typically courting couples and incidents in comfortable interiors, and also historical subjects. Sometimes his pictures tended to the whimsical in a fashion now much out of favour. He actually commenced his artistic career by studying sculpture, then learning to paint under his father, John Lucas before entering the Academy Schools in 1871. He showed works at the Royal Academy from 1867, thereafter maintaining a steady flow of pictures to that institution. He was elected ARA in 1886 and RA in 1898, his Diploma picture being News from the Front.

Seymour Lucas also designed theatre backdrops, and was a copious illustrator, sometimes favouring a simple outline style in the manner of drawings by Flaxman, and otherwise a richly textured style with great depth.

Works by Seymour Lucas are in many important collections, but represent a strand of Victorian painting out of fashion and therefore often not on display. Several works including portraits are at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. Other pictures are at Leicester, Plymouth, and in the Tate Gallery. Abroad, his important The Armada in Sight is in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

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