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RANKLEY, ALFRED (1819–1872), painter, was born in 1819. He received his art training in the schools of the Royal Academy, and began to exhibit there in 1841, when he sent a scene from Shakespeare's ‘Macbeth.’ This was followed in 1842 by ‘Palamon and Lavinia,’ exhibited at the Society of British Artists. In 1843 he sent to the Royal Academy a portrait, in 1844 a scene from ‘Othello,’ and in 1845 a subject from Crabbe's poems. Another portrait and ‘Paul and Virginia’ were his contributions to the exhibition of 1846, in which year he sent to the Society of British Artists ‘Edith and the Monks finding the Body of Harold,’ and ‘The Fortune-Teller.’ In 1847 he had at the British Institution ‘Cordelia,’ and at the Royal Academy ‘The Village Church.’ From this time onwards until 1867 he was a regular exhibitor at the academy, always sending one picture, but never more than two. His exhibited works included ‘The Ruined Spendthrift,’ 1848; ‘Love in Humble Life’ and ‘Innocence and Guilt,’ 1849; ‘The Sunday School,’ 1850; ‘The Pharisee and Publican,’ 1851; ‘Dr. Watts visiting some of his Little Friends,’ 1853; ‘The Village School,’ 1856; ‘The Welcome Guest’ and ‘The Lonely Hearth,’ 1857, the latter engraved by Frederick Bacon; ‘The Return of the Prodigal,’ 1858; ‘The Farewell Sermon,’ 1859, engraved by W. H. Simmons; ‘The Day is done,’ 1860; ‘The Gipsy at the Gate,’ 1862; ‘A Sower went forth to sow,’ 1863; ‘The Doctor's coming,’ 1864, his best work, representing a scene in a gipsy encampment; ‘After Work,’ 1865; ‘'Tis Home where the Heart is,’ 1866; ‘Follow my Leader,’ 1867; ‘Following the Trail’ and ‘The Hearth of his Home,’ 1870; and ‘The Benediction,’ 1871. All his pictures were carefully finished, and were directed to awaken sympathy in favour of that which is kindly in feeling and of good report. Most of them were of a domestic character, and many became deservedly popular. ‘The Parish Beauty’ and ‘The Pastor's Pet’ were engraved by Robert Mitchell; ‘Reading the Litany,’ ‘Sunday Afternoon,’ and ‘The Sunday School,’ by James Scott; ‘Refreshment, Sir?’ by W. H. Egleton; and ‘The Scoffers,’ by H. T. Ryall.

Rankley died at his residence, Clifton Villa, Campden Hill, Kensington, on 7 Dec. 1872, aged 52, and was buried in the St. Marylebone cemetery, Finchley.

[Art Journal, 1873, p. 44; Athenæum, 1872, ii. 776; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of the English School, 1878; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1841–71.]

R. E. G.