The Art of Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale


Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale (1871-1945) is an English artists associated with the Golden Age

of Illustration.


The Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale Collection at Spirit of the Ages includes art images from some of her seminal work. As a valuable reference resource, options are also provided for purchasing a range of gifts, including reproduction prints, posters and greeting cards.


Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale was born into a family of means and she took her education in art at the Royal Academy school. It was while attending the Royal Academy that she met Byam Shaw - a prominent artist - whom was not only a close friend, but also an artistic influence.


The comment from The Times (14 March, 1945) following her death provides a summary of her life and achievements, thus:


A Versatile Artist. Miss Fortescue-Brickdale RWS, painter, modeller, and

designed of stained glass, and black and white artist died on March 10th

as briefly announced in our columns yesterday. She was the last survivor

of the late Pre-Raphaelite painters, who though - or possibly because -

they did not come into personal contact with the original Brotherhood,

carried some of their principles to extremes. Her nearest affinity was with

the late Byam Shaw, in the period of his Loves Baubles, and she was at the

height of her reputation about the same time as he.


It was the allegorical side of Pre-Raphaelitism that Miss Fortescue-Brickdale

inherited, and her work was distinguished by brilliance of colour and great

fidelity to detail. One of her most successful pictures The Deceitfulness of

Riches, is crowded with detail of patterned garment and fruiting trees. As

the title suggests there is often a moral of symbolic meaning behind her

pictures. Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale, youngest daughter of the late

Mr M I Fortescue-Brickdale, barrister of Lincoln's Inn was born in 1871. She

studied at Crystal Palace School of Art, and at the Royal Academy Schools,

where in 1896 she won a 40 prize for her design for the decoration of a

public building. Her first appearance in a Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

was made the following year. She continued to exhibit there fairly frequently,

her contributions including several portraits.


Her pictures were also seen at the Royal Watercolour Society, but the highly wrought nature of her work kept her from being a prolific exhibition artist. Decorative illustration was her natural bent, and typical works of hers were

The Forerunner in which Leonardo da Vinci was depicted showing his model

of a lying machine to the Duke of Milan, and The First visit of Simonetta. For

the first British Empire Exhibition in 1924 she painted the reredos in the

Chapel of Remembrance. She is represented in the permanent collection of

Liverpool, Leeds, and Birmingham.


As might be expected from the character of her pictures with their brilliant

colours and sharp drawing, Miss Fortescue-Brickdale was successful as a

designer of stained glass, and there is a window by her in Bristol Cathedral.

In his English Pre-Raphaelite Painters, their associates, and successors in 1910

Percy Bates says that she should do much in the future to exemplify the still

living force of Pre-Raphaelitism. Whether or not that prediction was fulfilled,

she deserves to be remembered for her consistent fidelity to the tradition.


Above, we show a vintage photograph

of Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale


We invite you to take the time to peruse the wonderful artwork from Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale that is included in the

Collection - to view images from any one of Fortescue-Brickdale's suites or paintings listed below, simply 'click' on the

hyperlinks embedded within the titles and the images.



The Story of Saint Elizabeth

of Hungary

8 images

The Idylls of the King

21 images

The Book of Old English

Songs and Ballads

24 images

Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale's

Golden Book of Famous Women

16 images



The Birth of the Sweetest Flower

1 image

The Elfin Route made Visible

by the Four-Leaved Clover

1 image

Set Free by Christmas to Unite

in Christian Rejoicings

1 image

How the Lavender Came

to Smell of Paradise

1 image



Love's not Time's Fool

1 image