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Edward Robert Hughes – Pre-Raphaelite Associate Artist

More than likely, you’ve seen some of the works of Edward Robert Hughes. Perhaps on greeting cards. My wife has a t-shirt with Midsummer Eve, painted in 1908.

Edward Robert Hughes Midsummer Eve
Edward Robert Hughes Midsummer Eve

Edward Robert Hughes (1851-1914) is the nephew of Pre-Raphaelite painter Arthur Hughes. His uncle was his first mentor until he got into the Royal Academy.

At the Royal Academy, he met Pre-Raphaelite Edward Burne-Jones and the two of them developed a friendship.

Hughes also was a studio assistant of William Hollman Hunt, and assisted with two of Hunt’s paintings.

Edward Robert Hughes as an artist

Hughes developed his own style. Although classified as a Pre-Raphaelite associate, some considered him either Aestheticism or Symbolism. I don’t get hung up on labels. I simply enjoy his work because of the way he painted women. Also, I love the fantasy worlds that he creates.

Edward Robert Hughes - Dream Idyll (A Valkyrie)
Edward Robert Hughes – Dream Idyll (A Valkyrie)

Personal life

His first love was the daughter of the famous novelist and poet George MacDonald. They got engaged. Unfortunately, she died before they could get married.

Years later, he married Emily Eliza Davies. The couple never had any children.

Although a fantastic artist, Hughes primarily made his money doing portraits for the upper classes.

Style

Like yours truly, Hughes specialized in watercolors. Historians classify him as a Pre-Raphaelite associate as he came after the initial seven.

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