Bad News by Marcus Stone
Bad News by Marcus Stone Bad News by Marcus Stone Bad News by Marcus Stone Bad News by Marcus Stone Bad News by Marcus Stone Bad News by Marcus Stone Bad News by Marcus Stone Bad News by Marcus Stone Bad News by Marcus Stone Bad News by Marcus Stone
Bad News by Marcus Stone

Bad News by Marcus Stone

  • This emotive composition is the work of popular Victorian painter Marcus Stone
  • His Regency-inspired genre paintings reveal his flair for theatrically and narrative
  • Dramatic and highly detailed, this scene captures a Victorian beauty in a moment of despair
  • His riveting works were widely admired during his time, and remain popular to this day
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Item No. 30-6454
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Marcus Stone
1840-1921 | British

Bad News

Signed and dated "Marcus Stone / 1882" (lower left)
Oil on canvas

Poignant and dramatic, this riveting work entitled Bad News was composed by one of Victorian England's greatest genre painters, Marcus Stone. With a Regency flair for theatricality, each brushstroke in the work culminates into a masterful composition of grief and emotion. As the title implies, his Rubenesque subject has just received a letter containing grave news from the desolate messenger who stands to her side. Overcome, she grips the pillar beside her, and the letter falls to her feet, leaving the source of her despair a mystery to the viewer. This element of ambiguity only adds to the composition's drama, revealing Stone as a true master of narrative in the Regency tradition.

The son of genre painter Frank Stone, Stone received no formal artistic training from the Royal Academy and instead studied under his father from a young age. His talent and distinctive style thus developed at an early age, and he had already begun to formally exhibit his works at the Royal Academy before the age of 18. His father, Frank Stone, was a close friend of Victorian literary great Charles Dickens, and when he died in 1859, Dickens took the 19-year-old Stone under his wing. Stone went on to illustrate a number of novels and stories for Dickens and other writers of the age, which earned him a comfortable living early in his career.

By 1877, he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy. With his Regency-inspired subjects and remarkable technical skill, he was immensely popular with the British public, and by the end of the 19th century, he had established himself as an artist who was successful both commercially and critically. His emotive works were frequently reproduced as engravings during his lifetime, including the present work, which was widely popular among the general public. Today, his works can be seen on view in public collections such as the Manchester Art Gallery and the Tate London.

This work is illustrated on page 94 of Where Will You Travel Next? Destinations in Paintings, 2011, by J.A. Scott.

Dated 1882

Canvas: 36" high x 22 1/4" wide
Frame: 48" high x 34" wide

Where Will You Travel Next? Destinations in Paintings, Ellen Noel Museum of Art, Texas, November 2012 - February 2013; Albany Museum of Art, New York, January - April 2014; Allentown Museum of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, June - September 2014; Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science & Art, Pennsylvania, February-June 2015; Polk Museum of Art, Florida, July - December 2015
Artist: Stone, Marcus
Framed:34.0"W x 48.0"H
Unframed:22 1/4"W x 36"H
Period: 1816-1918
Depth:4.25 Inches
Width:34.0 Inches
Height:48.0 Inches
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