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Frayth Powell UK 1819-1909


Biography and information

William Powell Frayt (January 19, 1819 - November 9, 1909) was an English artist specializing in portraits and paintings of the Victorian era, elected to the Royal Academy in 1852. He was described as "the greatest British artist of social scenes since the days of Hogarth."
William Fright was born on January 19, 1819 in North Yorkshire, England. His father, the owner of the hotel in Harrogate, persuaded the young William to do visual art. In 1835, William moved to London and began studying at the Henry Sass Academy at Charlotte Street, in preparation for entering the Royal Academy of Arts school. Freit began working in the portraitist style, his first exhibition was held in 1838 at the British Institute. In the 1840s, he often painted portraits of literary figures such as Charles Dickens or Lawrence Stern.
Freit participated in a group of artists known as The Clique, founded by Richard Dudd. The main influence on the work of Freit had the work of David Wilkie. Wilkie's Chelsea Pensioners famous painting became an incentive for the creation of Frayt's own works in the same manner. Freith creates complex compositions depicting many significant figures of the Victorian era, their meetings and interaction in public places.
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