Philip Hermogenes Calderon. R.A.

(French/English, 1833 - 1898)


Full title:-  Morning. "Hark! Hark! the Lark at Heaven's Gate Sings."

69 x 49 1/2 ins --175 x 125 cms

Oil on canvas signed, and dated 1884.


This painting was engraved


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Morning'  was exhibited in the Summer exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1885.

From the studio records book of Philip Hermogenes Calderon R.A.:---

 ' Morning' was painted for the dining room of Mr. John Aird - painted extremely light, as part of the dining room the painting is to be placed in is very dark. The price paid for the painting in 1884 was 750 guineas.


This painting was then hung in a 19th century mansion landmark in Toronto, Canada, owned by the Fine family. The painting was then put into storage in the 1970's.

John Aird (1833-1911) Civil engineering contractor of railway and dock works etc. Best known for "Damming the Nile" [1898-1902]  In 1891, at the home of  Mr. John Aird of Hyde Park Terrace-London. The dining room,  which was called the 'Calderon Room' as there were eight paintings by Calderon, all exhibited at the R.A. which were purchased  from the artist, several titles are recorded; "Night" (the companion to "Morning" exhibited in 1884, "Flowers of the Earth" exhibited in 1881. etc.

Sir John Aird M.P. owned a very impressive collection of large paintings which he purchased from the artist, there were paintings from Rossetti, Waterhouse, Alma-Tadema and Calderon. The large painting ''The Roses of Heliogabalus'' by Lawrence Alma-Tadema exhibited in 1888 was also in the collection of John Aird which he purchased from the artist.

Philip Hermogenes Calderon R.A. is an important painter, who painted genre, portraits, domestic and historical scenes.

Calderon was born in Poitiers, France. His father being Spanish and his mother being French, Calderon described his nationality as an Englishman. He lived at several addresses in London, 1856 at 7, Acacia Road, 1858, 72, Abbey Place, St. Johns Wood. Then finally in 1887 at a house in the grounds of the Royal Academy.

Calderon was educated by his father, a Spanish priest and a professor of Spanish who lectured at Kings College, London.

Initially in 1850 Calderon trained at Mr. Leigh's School of Art in London, then later a student under Picot in Paris.

Calderon first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1853. The painting "Broken Vows" exhibited in 1857 at the Royal Academy brought his work to much attention, this work is very much of a Pre-Raphaelite influence.

There are some paintings by Calderon, which gave offence, being of a certain religious subject, but still brilliantly painted. One of Calderon's paintings exhibited in the Royal Academy 'summer exhibition' of 1878 "Nuns leaving the Nunnery at Loughborough" (77 x 60 ins --196 x 152 cms)  took its place in "the great room", a place of honour, before it was finally wrecked by order of parliament!. (Art Journal 1878)  

At the unusually young age of 31 in 1864 Calderon became A.R.A. then in 1867 he was elected R.A.

It was not only in England that his work was appreciated, for at the Paris exhibition of 1867 Calderon obtained the first medal given to an English artist, and the ribbon to the Legion d'Honeur.

Calderon's best paintings stand along, some of the top artist's of his time, many of them being his friends, among them being;  Frederick, Lord Leighton P.R.A. (1830-1896) and John Everett Millais P.R.A. (1829-1896)

'The St. Johns Wood 'clique-school'  was headed by Calderon, he also chaired many events relating to art and artists.

In 1887 Calderon became the keeper of the Royal Academy, where he lived. One of his duties as the keeper was to supervise the R.A. schools, which he was excellent at, he became much loved for his  kindness, and encouragement to his students.

Philip Hermogenes Calderon R.A. exhibited at: The Royal Academy - London, The Paris Salon, The Walker Art Gallery - Liverpool, The Manchester City Art Gallery, The Fine Art Society - London, The Grosvenor Gallery, The Royal Society Portrait Painters, and many others.

Philip Hermogenes Calderon R.A. paintings are held at: Tate Gallery - London, Royal Academy - London, Walker Art Gallery - Liverpool, Salford Art Gallery, Leeds City Art Gallery, Manchester City Art Gallery, Brooklyn Museum Of Art - U.S.A, Yale Centre For British Art - U.S.A., Hamburg  Kunsthalle - Germany, and others..


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