Harmony Frank Dicksee Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The painting Harmony is an oil on canvas painting, completed in 1877. The paint Harmony was a repetition of a sketch Frank Dicksee made and exhibited at the Royal Academy School in 1877.

The paint, Harmony, is among the most popular work of Dicksee and it depicts a young man staring lovingly into the eyes of a girl playing the Organ. The girl was a known woman, a student at Queens College then called Hilda Spencer. In the paint, Hilda Spencer is seen oblivious of her admirer's rapturous gaze. She is sitting in a trance-like state, absorbed deep into her playing. Around her are medieval figurative panels of furniture which were then being produced by William Burges and William Morris. Additionally, stained glass observed farther into the background, reflects the influence of Pre Raphaelitism and precisely Henry Holiday.

Frank Dicksee used elements of iconography in the pain Harmony. The boy seated and gazing at the woman playing symbolizes complete authority over the woman, and this is connoted by the golden band she is wearing on her fourth left finger. This clearly shows male empowerment over women which might have been a norm in those days. The theme of the paint can be said to be harmonious qualities of true womanhood. Lighting was perfectly used in the paint. The natural sunlight is visible through the stained glass window casting an aureole round the girls glistening hair, the subdued but attractive color, the carefully finished but not very detailed all form a veritable masterpiece.

Frank Dicksee was introduced into painting by his father, Thomas Dicksee together with his sister Margaret. His art in oil painting was influenced and encouraged by Music as a set Subject in sketching at the Royal Academy School, he made a repetition of the sketch in oil. The new oil paint was then exhibited at the Royal Academy with a new title, The Harmony. His painting, The Funeral of a Viking 1893, was used by Swedish Viking Black metal band Bathory for the cover of their 1990 album, The Hammerheart. Some of the notable works by Frank Dicksee include Chivalry 1885, the Lady Palmer, An Offering, The Funeral of a Viking 1893 and La Belle Dame sans Merci.