Houghton, Arthur Boyd (1836-1875) by Scholes, Robert

Arthur Boyd Houghton (1836 – 1875) Boyd Houghton (as he was known) was born at Kotagiri, Madras in India. Coming to England, he studied at Leigh’s and the Royal Academy Schools. Needing money, he took up illustrating and became one of the most famous illustrators of the Victorian era. He illustrated widely in magazines, including The Graphic (his series Graphic America 1870-72), Good Words, The Sunday Magazine and others. His most important book illustrations were those for The Arabian Nights and for Don Quixote. Images of his work are everywhere, and he was held up as a model to students as late as 1914, as the following remarks by attest: Walter Sickert No possible bridge can they imagine, and small blame to them, that can lead. from their accumulation of canvases three-foot high and two-foot wide from what is pleasantly called “the life,” to such pictures as we love in the museums. So a series of superficial obsessions with this or that critical hare runs through the schools like the whooping cough. For three years it is . The obsession is considered good artistically and politically. It is not only Michelangelesque, but nationalist, and so a manner of thinking imperially. Then it is Boyd Houghton. Boyd Houghton morning, noon, and night! Boyd Houghton, North, South, East, and West! Then it is an early- stunt, till it becomes almost impossible to bear the sight of a real early Millais. Alfred Stevens Millais (NA 15.6:131)

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