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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
DYCE, William (1806-1864)
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
1 file


Name of creator(s)

Dyce, William, 1806-1864, artist

Administrative / Biographical history

Born in Aberdeen, 1806; educated at Marischal College, University of Aberdeen, gaining an MA, 1822; studied Art at the school of the Royal Academy, and became acquainted with Alexander Day and William Holwell Carr; visited Rome, studying in particular Titian and Nicholas Poussin, 1825-1826; returned to Aberdeen and painted 'Bacchus nursed by the Nymphs of Nysa', which was exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1827; returned to Rome, 1827, developing his painting style which became known as 'pre-Raphaelite' - he is credited as the originator of the movement in English art; painted 'Madonna and Child', 1828 which was well received amongst the artists in Rome; returned to Aberdeen, 1828 and pursued painting and science; settled at Edinburgh, and painted over one hundred portraits, 1830-[1837]; elected a fellow of the Royal Society at Edinburgh, 1832; elected an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy, 1835; exhibited several paintings in Edinburgh and the Royal Academy, 1830-1837; led an inquiry into the working of design schools in Europe, [1838]-1840; director and secretary of the Council of the School of Design, 1840-1843; inspector of provincial schools, 1843-[1844]; Professor of Fine Arts, King's College London, 1844; published his lecture Theory of the fine arts , (London, 1844); painted the fresco 'Baptism of Ethelbert' in the House of Lords, 1846; elected member of the Royal Academy, 1848; commissioned to paint twenty-eight frescos for the House of Lords, 1848 (only five were completed by his death); appointed a juror of the Great Exhibition, 1851; undertook the interior decoration of All Saints Church, Margaret Street, 1858-1859; died in Streatham, 1864.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred from the library of King's College London.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Charcoal sketches of capitols and other sculpted architectural details, 1843.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive Services, King's College London.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

Collection level description.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Related units of description

Correspondence and papers, 1806-1864, held at the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums; correspondence with William Ewart Gladstone, 1841-1859, held at the British Library Manuscript Collections (ref: Add MSS 44358-527 passim); letters to James Robert Hope-Scott, 1840-1844, held at the National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division (ref: MSS 3669-71); report to the Council of the School of Design, 1838, held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, National Art Library (ref: MSL 1980/186); letters to William Scott, 1849-1856, held at Lambeth Palace Library.

Description control

Archivist's Note

Sources: Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 1995); King's College London, Manuscripts and Private Papers, A Select Guide; British Library online Public Access Catalogue 97; National Register of Archives. Compiler: Julie Tancell

Rules or conventions

National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

March 2000

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  • Architecture
  • Drawings
  • Visual materials

Personal names

  • Dyce, William, 1806-1864, Artist

Corporate names

  • King's College London College Archives

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