GEORGE ELGAR HICKS
Portrait of a Young Gentleman
Signed and dated 1858
Watercolour and bodycolour, oval
30 by 25 cm., 11 ¾ by 9 ¾ in.
(frame size 50 by 41 cm., 19 ¾ by 16 in.)
Lady Holland Martin.
Hicks was born in Lymington, Hampshire, the son of wealthy magistrate. Initially intended for the medical profession he studied at University College from 1840 to 1842. In 1843 he abandoned is medical training in favour of art and enrolled in Sass’s Academy and in 1844 entered the Royal Academy Schools. Portrait of a Young Gentleman dates to the early part of Hicks’ career when he was involved in his young and growing family and painting portraits of his friends and family. In the following years he exhibited the first of his large and acclaimed genre paintings of crowded modern life scenes that were to make him famous: Dividend at the Bank of England (Royal Academy, 1859, no.519) and The General Post Office, 1 minute to 6 (Royal Academy, 1860, no.367).