Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Tidey, Alfred

TIDEY, ALFRED (1808–1892), miniature-painter, second son of John Tidey, schoolmaster, was born at Worthing House, Sussex, on 20 April 1808. Henry Tidey [q. v.] was his younger brother. His first instruction in art was received in the school conducted by his father, who was himself a fairly good artist. In early life he devoted himself to miniature-painting, and while yet very young came to London, where he attracted the notice of Henry Neville, second earl of Abergavenny. He began to exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1831, and in 1836 he sent a miniature of Sir John Conroy, bart., comptroller of the household to the Duchess of Kent. He thus became known to the Duchess's daughter, Queen Victoria, who in 1841 commanded him to paint a miniature of the Hon. Julia Henrietta Anson, one of her maids of honour, afterwards Lady Brooke, which was engraved by James Thomson. He painted also a miniature of the Empress Frederick (of Germany) when a child, and at a later period (1873) watercolour portraits of her and of the Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein. He continued to exhibit miniatures at the Royal Academy regularly until 1857, but seldom after that date. He occasionally exhibited watercolour drawings, ending in 1887 with one entitled ‘As Good as Gold.’ Three of his latest works appeared in 1891 in the exhibition of the Dudley Gallery Art Society, of which he was a member.

Tidey died at Glen Elg, Springfield Park, Acton, Middlesex, on 2 April 1892.

[Times, 7 April 1892; Ottley's Dictionary of Recent and Living Painters and Engravers, 1866; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1831–87.]

R. E. G.