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Henry Stacy Marks RA, RWS (1829-1898)

Salmon-Crested Cockatoo

Signed with initials l.r.: H.S.M.
Watercolour and bodycolour over traces of pencil

16 by 14 cm., 6 ¼ by 5 ½ in.
(frame size 37.5 by 34.5 cm., 14 ¾ by 13 ½ in.)

Henry Stacy Marks was born in London, the fourth child of John Isaac Marks, a solicitor. He studied in London at the Royal Academy Schools and later in Paris. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and elsewhere from 1853. He was elected ARA in 1870 and became a full RA in 1878.

His father’s business failed and it fell upon Henry to support his extended family and he therefore supplemented his income from painting by carrying out decorative work for various firms such as Minton and the stained-glass makers Clayton and Bell. He supplied several interior schemes including the design for a frieze for the outside wall of the Royal Albert Hall, for the house of the artist Lawrence Alma-Tadema and his important patron, Hugh Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster.

His earlier works were usually historical and literary, especially Shakespearian and often humorous. As his career progressed, he became increasingly interested in painting birds, being particularly fond of parrots. These bird studies were particularly selected for praise by John Ruskin. Marks had three exhibitions in six years at the Fine Art Society in London, the first of which was Birds in Bond Street in 1889.

He was a frequent visitor to London Zoo, “painting poultry” as a fellow RA put it. He was frequently approached by other curious visitors – he noted in his preface to the 1890 catalogue: “The most common remark I hear is, “Ah pretty creature! Don’t he seem to know he’s sitting for his picture?” and concluded “… I hope I may be excused, and not held too eccentric, in preferring to converse with a parrot for one hour, rather than with a politician for two”. The Victoria and Albert Museum holds three of Marks’ finished watercolour studies of birds.

Dimensions

Framed Height: 37.5 cm (14 3/4"), Framed Width: 34.5 cm (13 1/2")


Stock number

2594
Open by appointment and at fairs

The BADA Standard

  • Since 1918, BADA has been the leading association for the antiques and fine art trade
  • Members are elected for their knowledge, integrity and quality of stock
  • Our clients are protected by BADA’s code of conduct
  • Our dealers’ membership is reviewed and renewed annually
  • Bada.org is a non-profit site: clients deal directly with members and they pay no hidden fees
Click here for more information on the BADA Standard