|Artist||Frederick Hollyer after George Frederick Watts|
|Dimensions||Image 152 x 80 mm, Plate 180 x 100 mm, Sheet 235 x 158 mm|
Sir Galahad is a knight of King Arthur's Round Table and one of the three achievers of the Holy Grail in Arthurian legend. He is the illegitimate son of Sir Lancelot and Elaine of Corbenic, and is renowned for his gallantry and purity as the most perfect of all knights. Emerging quite late in the medieval Arthurian tradition, Sir Galahad first appears in the Lancelot–Grail cycle, and his story is taken up in later works such as the Post-Vulgate Cycle and Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. His name should not be mistaken with Galehaut, a different knight from Arthurian legend.
This print would likely have appeared in a loose sheet folio of the works of the Pre-Raphaelites dating from around 1900.
Frederick Hollyer (1837 - 1933) was a mezzotint engraver and famed photographic reproducer of Victorian paintings. Born in London, Frederick was the son of the line engraver Samuel Hollyer. In his junior years he flirted with engraving, and it was in this practise that he received renown for a series of mezzotints he produced after Edwin Landseer. It was his interest, and subsequent pioneering in the field of photography that defined Hollyer's career. He began by making albumen prints from collodion negatives but then was fiercely active in the development of the platinotype. The method of printing, combined with a dry gelatin plate, as opposed to an emulsified version, results in a very high quality matte finish. The prints display a greater tonal subtlety and formal veracity; they are also far more durable. In the 1870's, Hollyer established a business in photographic reproduction based upon this medium and, under the patronage of Frederick Leighton, specialised in the copying of Pre-Raphaelite painting and drawing. These reproductions were used in books and magazines, and thus contributed hugely to the popularity of the movement. A fact that was acknowledged in Hollyer's obituary by The Times when they wrote that he did as much for the Brotherhood with his prints as John Ruskin did with his pen.
George Frederic Watts (1817 – 1904) was a popular English Victorian painter and sculptor associated with the Symbolist and Pre-Raphaelite movements. Watts became famous in his lifetime for his allegorical works, such as Hope and Love and Life. These paintings were intended to form part of an epic symbolic cycle called the 'House of Life,' in which the emotions and aspirations of life would all be represented in a universal symbolic language. His large allegorical works on universal themes appealed deeply to the Victorians, and he was considered to be the greatest English artist of his age.
Condition: Some minor foxing to sheet edges.