The Demon Lover

WAG 5243


Born in London, Hughes trained as an artist at the School of Design at Somerset House, where he was the pupil of the sculptor Alfred Stevens (1823 - 1906). In 1847 he won a scholarship to attend the Royal Academy Schools, and first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1849. In the 1850s and 1860s Hughes produced a series of modern-life subjects. The most famous was 'Home from Sea' (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford), showing a sailor boy returned from sea crying on the grave of his dead mother. Hughes also had a successful career as an illustrator, providing plates for works of poetry by Alfred Tennyson (1809 - 1892) and Christina Rossetti (1830 - 1894). His later works have less poetic intensity or technical mastery than his earlier ones, but remain distinctive and charming.