Scottish painter and teacher. Began studying at the school of the Royal Academy of arts, soon left her to go on a trip to Italy. Two trips to Rome in 1825, and in 1827-1830 have a decisive influence on the formation of the main imagery and stylistic principles of his art. Attention young artist was attracted by the Italian painting of the Early Renaissance, particularly the works of Pinturicchio, as well as the painting of Raphael in the Vatican. Dyce studied fresco technique and problems of synthesis of mural painting with architecture. He was also close quest German artists of the time Nazarene works, in particular Johann Friedrich Overbeck. Under their direct influence has developed the early style of the master, characterized by cold rationality of composition, generalization of form, fine, somewhat harsh pattern and fairly conventional, local flavor. The range of topics that have been accessed painter, was connected with the gospel stories or literary characters, later characters of the medieval history of England and Scotland. Repeatedly returned to the image of the Madonna and child (CA. 1836, Nottingham, castle Museum). In the 1840s to the master comes the official recognition, he was elected a member of the Royal Academy of arts (1848), became the favourite painter of Prince albert, who drew him to work on the decoration of the interiors of the new building of the British Parliament. In 1846, the artist painted the first mural of the Baptism of Ethelbert next year started to paint the dressing room of the Queen in the Palace of Westminster. Continued to work in the field of monumental painting to the end of life.
In their views and style of the dice proved to be the immediate precursor of the pre-Raphaelites, a connecting link between them and the artists-time Nazarene works. The pre-Raphaelites with a great sympathy to him, although the ideologist of their movement John. Reskin and criticized dice for the "imitation of old masters". In the last years of his life the artist began to pay more attention to detail, adhering to strong recommendations Ruskin follow nature, rejecting nothing, selecting nothing. He carefully prescribes landscape backgrounds (Christ grieving, 1860, Edinburgh, NAT. gallery of Scotland). Referring to the practice of the pre-Raphaelites, often combines in a single canvas the figures are performed in the workshop, and painted from nature landscape.
The now famous work of Dyce was just the landscape, written during a holiday on the coast, Pegwell Bay, Kent — a Recollection of October 5 1858 (1859, London, Tate gallery). The artist introduces in the captured nature landscape image of the comet Donati. Carefully written in chalk cliffs, the wall surrounding a deserted shingle beach, roam the lone figure, oblivious to what is happening in the sky. The atmosphere of alienation is enhanced by pale yellow late-afternoon light, creating a complex sense of external peace, the profound anxiety and melancholy.
Dyce was a man of versatile interests. He became the leader of the religious movement of High Church, composed Church music, wrote about Church architecture and created illustrations for the Book of common prayer. Was also engaged in crafts, particularly stained glass. From 1839 to 1843 was in the leadership of the School of applied arts in Somerset house. Was Professor of theory of art at kings College in London. Subsequently published a book based on his lectures. Advised NAT. the gallery on the issues of acquisition of the collection. However, it was abandoned in 1850 from the presidency of the Royal Academy of arts.