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

TIDEY, HENRY (1814–1872), watercolour-painter, younger brother of Alfred Tidey [q. v.], was born at Worthing House, Sussex, on 7 Jan. 1814. Like his brother, he was taught drawing in his father's school, and, while yet a boy, he painted several pictures for the Princess Augusta, who was then staying at Worthing. He afterwards practised there as a painter of portraits, both in oil and in watercolours. Later on he came to London, and met with considerable success as a portrait-painter, especially of children. In 1839 he sent a portrait in watercolours to the exhibition of the Royal Academy, where he continued to exhibit chiefly portraits until 1861. Occasionally he painted genre pictures in oil, and among them were ‘The Union’ and ‘The Repeal of the Union,’ which were engraved by Samuel Bellin; ‘Fair-Time in the Park, Greenwich,’ ‘Sunshine and Shade,’ and ‘Sea Weeds,’ a picture representing a band of Irish girls dancing on the sea-shore, which appeared at the Royal Academy in 1856. In 1855 he exhibited there for the first time a watercolour drawing, the subject of which was the gallant action of Lieutenant-colonel Pakenham at the battle of the Alma. The success of this work led him in subsequent years to confine himself almost entirely to historical and poetical subjects, the latter somewhat after the manner of Watteau.

Tidey was elected an associate of the New Society (afterwards the Institute) of Painters in Watercolours in 1858, and in that year sent to its exhibition three drawings, ‘Idleness,’ ‘The Wanderer,’ and ‘The Oyster Season—Natives of Hampshire.’ In 1859 he became a full member, and exhibited ‘The Feast of Roses,’ from Moore's ‘Lalla Rookh,’ which was purchased by the queen, and three other drawings. Of works which followed the best were ‘Queen Mab’ in 1860; ‘Dar-Thula,’ a subject from Ossian, bought by the Duke of Manchester, and ‘Walter and Jane,’ engraved by William Holl, in 1861; ‘The Last of the Abencerages’ in 1862; ‘Christ blessing little Children’ in 1863; ‘The Night of the Betrayal,’ a triptych of much devotional feeling, in 1864; ‘Nanny, wilt thou gang wi' me?’ engraved by William Holl, in 1865; ‘Sensitive Plants,’ a series of drawings of children, in 1866 and 1867; ‘The Seasons,’ four drawings, in 1867; ‘Jeanie Morrison’ and ‘The Woman of Samaria,’ the latter engraved for the ‘Art Journal’ by Thomas Sherratt, in 1868; ‘Sardanapalus’ in 1870; ‘Seaweeds’ and ‘Flowers of the Forest’ in 1871; and ‘Richard and Kate,’ two different compositions bearing the same title, ‘Castles in the Air,’ and ‘Sanctuary’ in 1872.

Tidey died at 30 Percy Street, Bedford London, on 21 July 1872. His remaining drawings and sketches were sold by Messrs. Christie, Manson, & Woods on 28 March 1873.

[Art Journal, 1869 pp. 109–11, 1872 p. 226; Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists of the English School, 1878; Academy, 1 Aug. 1872; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1839–69; Exhibition Catalogues of the New Society of Painters in Watercolours, 1858–72.]

R. E. G.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.265
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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383 ii 19f.e. Tidey, Henry: for Bedford read Bedford Square