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Augustus Leopold Egg RA (London 2 May 1816 – 26 March 1863 Algiers); Victorian artist best known for his modern triptych Past and Present (1858), which depicts the breakup of a middle-class Victorian family.
Egg's early paintings were generally illustrations of literary subjects. Like other members of The Clique, he saw himself as a follower of Hogarth....
...Dickens described Egg as a "dear gentle little fellow," "always sweet-tempered, humorous, conscientious, thoroughly good, and thoroughly beloved."
In a 1953 radio interview, Evelyn Waugh was asked "What painters do you admire most?". He answered "Augustus Egg I’d put among the highest."
"Augustus Leopold Egg was born in London on 2 May 1816. He attended Henry Sass Drawing School in preparation for entering the Royal Academy. His painting A Spanish Girl was accepted by the Academy in 1838. At about this time he formed The Clique, a sketching club, with William Powell Frith and Richard Dadd.
In the 1840s Egg began painting comic scenes from Shakespeare, Lord Byron and Walter Scott. He also painted historical pictures such as Queen Elizabeth Discovers She is No Longer Young (1848), The Life and Death of Buckingham (1855) and The Night Before Naseby (1859).
In 1859 Egg produced a series of 3 paintings called Past and Present. Influenced by the moral paintings of William Hogarth, the pictures tell the story of a man that Egg knew, whose wife had been unfaithful. In the first picture the husband discovers his wife's infidelity; he holds the letter that has enabled him to discover the betrayal and crushes a picture of his wife's lover under his foot. The second and third pictures both take place at the same moment, 5 years later, after the death of the father. One picture shows the children alone in the home, whereas the mother is living under the Adelphi arches in London. (http://spartacus-educational.com/Jegg.htm) undefined