Prinsep, Valentine

PAINTER, WRITER (GREAT-BRITAIN)
BORN 14 Feb 1838, Calcutta - DIED 11 Nov 1904, London: Holland Park
GRAVE LOCATION London: Brompton Cemetery, Old Brompton Road, West Brompton (4W (near the Leyland Tomb))

Second of the three sons of Henry Thoby Prinsep, who was Persian Secretary to the Government and Sara Prinsep (1816-1887), one of the seven Pattle sisters (and younger sister of Margaret Cameron). He was over six feet tall and looked healthy and robust.

His mother created a literary salon at Little Holland House and the young Prinsep came frequently into contact with artists and writers. Like Sarah Prinsep said, "G.F. Watts came to stay three days; he stayed thirty years". Influenced by Watts he decided to become a painter and he studied under under Watts and Charles Gleyre. In 1857 he assisted Gabriel Dante Rossetti with his Oxford Union fresco. He created several preraphaelite paintings, like "The Queen Was In Her Parlour, Eating Bread And Honey" and "At The Golden Gate" (both at the City Art Gallery, Manchester). Later he painted large history scenes that became very popular. In 1879 he became an associate member of the Royal Academy and in 1894 a full member. From 1901 until his death he was Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy.

In 1884 he became the stepson of Frederick Leyland, the director of the National Telephone Company, when he married his daughter Florence. After Leyland's death Prinsep published some of his stepfather's correspondence with Rossetti and Whistler.

Prinsep also wrote novels and plays. He died after an operation 1904. One of his three sons was theatre manager Anthony Leyland Prinsep, who produced many plays at the Globe Theatre in London.

Related persons
• had a love affair with Dickens, Kate Macready
• has a connection with Rossetti, Dante Gabriel

Sources
• Nicholson, Louise, London: Louise Nicholson's Definitive Guide, Bodley Head, The, London, 1988
• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Londoners, Robson Books, London, 1991
• Speel, Bob, The Website of Bob Speel, 2017
• Stephen, Leslie [Sir], Sidney Lee [Sir] [Editors], The Dictionary of National Biography, From the Earliest Times to 1900, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1960
Explore Victorian Britain

Images

The grave of Valentine Prinsep at Brompton Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (27 May 2004)

 

The grave of Valentine Prinsep at Brompton Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (27 May 2004)

 

"At the Golden Gate".
   (1882, Manchester: Manchester Art Gallery)
 


Probyn, May

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 30 Jul 2016