The works of William Powell Frith depict crowded scenes from Victorian life. He was a traditionalist who spoke out against developments in contemporary society and openly satirised the likes of Oscar Wilde and the Pre-Raphaelites in his work. Frith began as a portraitist, painting members of his family, before branching out to paint historical and literary subjects. Frith’s reputation rests on the success of his panoramas of Victorian life. This was so popular that police protection was required to deal with the huge crowds that came to see it at the Royal Academy. Frith captured a range of people from different classes in his works, inspired perhaps by his friend Charles Dickens, whose portrait he also painted. Although successful, Frith was never particularly rich during his lifetime; a result of maintaining not only a wife with 12 children, but also a mistress with whom he had seven more.
L'adieu de Marie Stuart
Mary, Queen of Scots Bidding Farewell to France, 1561
A Dream of the Future
The Fair Toxophilites (English Archers, Nineteenth Century)
A Boy and a Girl with Hounds
A Tenby Prawn Seller
The Rejected Poet
At the Opera
Life at the Seaside
A Scene from "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme"
Mr Honeywood Introduces the Bailiffs to Miss Richland as His Friends
Monsieur Jourdain's Dancing Lesson