Eve Tempted by the ‘Painter of Dreams’

john-stanhope-eve-temptedEve Tempted” by John Stanhope (Manchester Art Gallery).

Born on 20th January, 1829, in Yorkshire, English pre-Raphaelite artist John Roddam Spencer Stanhope was associated with fellow pre-Raphaelites, Edward Burne-Jones and George Frederic Watts.

Stanhope traveled with Watts to Italy in 1853 and to Asia in 1856–1857. Upon his return, he was invited by Dante Gabriel Rossetti to participate in the Oxford murals project – painting Sir Gawaine and the Damsels.

Stanhope worked in oil, watercolour, fresco, and mixed media. His work is also referred to as part of the  Aestheticism and British Symbolism art movements, basing his work on a variety of mythological, allegorical, biblical and contemporary themes.

Stanhope’s mother, (Elizabeth Wilhemina Coke), was the third and youngest daughter of the first Earl of Leicester and studied art under Thomas Gainsborough.

  • Throughout his career, Stanhope suffered from chronic asthma and because of this, he turned to wintering in Florence, Italy.
  • During summer, he at first stayed at Burne-Jones’s house in London, but later moved to alternative quarters.
  • On 10 January, 1859, he married Elizabeth King; the daughter of John James King; grand-daughter of the third Earl of Egremont. Together they had one daughter, Mary.
  • Sadly, in 1867, at the age of seven, Mary died of scarlet fever and was buried at the English Cemetery in Florence.
  • Stanhope moved permanently to Florence in 1880 where he lived in the Villa Nuti until his death on 2 August, 1908.

The extended Stanhope family aided and supported the 2007 exhibition, Painters of Dreams, which featured many of Stanhope’s art works.

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