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Edward George Handel Lucas


Edward Lucas was a painter of still-life, landscape and figure subjects. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists, and Grosvenor Gallery. He is best known for his meticulous still-life subjects, with moralistic titles. His attention to detail was such that his paintings rarely took less than six months to complete and very often longer. Such is the scarcity of his work that his life story has remained totally forgotten until recently when his diaries of newspaper cuttings were discovered. Named after his father's favorite composer, Handel Lucas was hailed a child genius when he first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1879 at the age of seventeen. From then on his work appeared regularly at the annual Academy exhibitions and always drew notices praising his consistent quality. “Mr Handel Lucas... possesses in a more marked degree than any still life painter I have met with, that genius which a great writer has informed us is an infinite capacity for taking pains.” By 1910, with the tide of fashion turning in favour of Impressionism, Handel Lucas found his work became increasingly difficult to sell. Three years later, it was recorded that he was working on a picture in an attempt to pay the rent bill of £60. The landlady would not wait for its completion and the families were evicted. His work began to re-appear at London auctions in 1972, as did a demand for his highly detailed stile life paintings. Geraldine Norman wrote an article called 'Blowing The Dust Off A Forgotten Pre-Impressionist' in The Times in 1972.
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