Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee was born in London, on 27th November, 1853. He was an English Victorian painter and illustrator, best known for his popular portraits of fashionable women, as well as dramatic literary, historical, and legendary scenes. His early teacher was his father Thomas, a painter, who taught Frank, his brother Herbert and his sister Margaret how to paint. Francis, or Frank as he was also known as, enrolled in the Royal Academy in London, in 1870 and achieved early success. He was elected to the Academy in 1891 and became its President in 1924 and Knighted the following year. His greatest accolade was to be honoured the Royal Victorian Order by King George V in 1927. He died, the following year on 17th October, 1928.
This exotic looking image [above] is entitled Leila (1892) from the Fine Art Society London collection and used on the cover of Edith Maude Hull’s book – “The Sheik”, which was first published in England in 1919 and over the next few years mounted to over 1.2 million copies being sold worldwide. Sales further increased when Paramount Pictures released a film version of “The Sheik” in 1921, which launched Rudolph Valentino into cinema immortality as the greatest “lover” of the silent screen.