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William Powell Frith RA, Portrait of Thomas Creswick, R.A.

Portrait of Thomas Creswick, R.A., 1862

William Powell Frith RA (1819 - 1909)

RA Collection: Art

William Powell Frith counted Creswick as one of his best friends, describing him as 'good nature personified'. This tasteful portrait, composed in muted tones, certainly depicts a man of benevolent appearance and dignified bearing. However, this portrayal is at odds with many accounts of Creswick's appearance and personality. Frith's daughter recalled a 'festive, rollicking and amusing' man whose conversation was peppered with swearwords and who 'was too fond of both food and drink to be always in the best of health'. Creswick's larger-than-life character was not universally appreciated. Other landscape artists, in particular, accused him of exerting his influence amongst the Academicians to exclude his rivals from the institution. Creswick's detractors made much of his unkempt appearance and reputed aversion to soap and water, nicknaming him 'the big unwashed'.

Object details

Title
Portrait of Thomas Creswick, R.A.
Artist/designer
Date
1862
Object type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions

572 mm x 457 mm x 20 mm

Collection
Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
03/1340
Acquisition
Given by Mrs Charles Oppenheim 1910
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