Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Egg, Augustus Leopold

770135Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 17 — Egg, Augustus Leopold1889Louis Alexander Fagan

EGG, AUGUSTUS LEOPOLD (1816–1863), subject painter, was the son of Egg the well-known gunmaker in Piccadilly, where he was born on 2 May 1816. Having mastered the first elements in drawing under Henry Sass, in Charlotte Street, Bloomsbury, he obtained admission as a student into the Royal Academy in 1836, and appeared as an exhibitor first in that institution in 1838, where he exhibited 'A Spanish Girl.' This was followed by 'Laugh when you can' in 1639, and a scene from 'Henry IV' in 1840. But his first work of importance, 'The Victim,' was exhibited at Liverpool, and subsequently was engraved in the 'Gems of European Art.' He also contributed for many years to the Society of British Artists in Suffolk Street. He suffered from a weak constitution, and during a journey in Africa, undertaken for the benefit of his health, he died at Algiers on 26 March 1863, and was buried there. Egg was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1848, and an academician in 1860, in which year he painted a scene from the 'Taming of the Shrew.' His portrait by Frith, engraved by J. Smyth, appeared in the 'Art Union Monthly Journal of 1847, p. 312. Works of his best quality are: 'Queen Elizabeth discovers she is no longer young' (1848); 'Peter the Great sees Katherine for the first time' (1850); 'The Life and Death of Buckingham' (1855); scenes from 'Esmond' (1857-8); a triptych of the 'Fate of a Faithless Wife' (1858); and 'The Night before Naseby' (1859). In the National Gallery there is a canvas, 'Scene from Le Diable Boiteux' (1844).

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Ottley's Dict. of Recent and Living Painters and Engravers; Art Union (1847), p. 312.]

L. F.