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Ernest Crofts
British, (1847 -1911)

After the Franco-Prussian War
Oil on canvas, signed & dated 1875
13.25 inches x 15.25 inches

Ernest Crofts was one of the leading military and historical painters of the late Victorian era. He was born in Leeds on 15 September 1847, and after being schooled at Rugby, moved to Dusseldorf in 1870 to study art with the German military artist Emile Hunten (1827-1902). During his stay, he accompanied Hunten to a number of battlefields during the Franco-Prussian war. One of his paintings “A Retreat: An Episode of the German-French War” won him a silver medal the Crystal Palace show in 1874. In the same year he exhibited another battle scene at the Royal Academy. However, during the following year he started painting historical military scenes starting with the Waterloo campaign which he exhibited at the RA. Crofts’s attention to detail extended to building up a large collection of uniforms and accessories as well as visiting the battlefield sites of Waterloo and other wars. He also became interested in the English Civil War, painting many scenes and it was his Royal Academy picture of 1877 “Oliver Cromwell at Marston Moor” that brought him critical acclaim. He was elected Associate of the RA 19 June 1878 and Academician 20 July 1896. In 1898, he became Keeper of the Royal Academy. Crofts died in London on 19 March 1911. He was buried at the All Souls Cemetery, Kensal Green. Examples of his work can be found at the Royal Academy of Arts Collections, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Dudley Museum and elsewhere.

Price £3,600

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