Charles Sillem Lidderdale

Charles Sillem Lidderdale, 19th century portraits
Charles Lidderdale was a 19th century British painter who specialized in portraits and figures of young women, usually set against bucolic backgrounds, often presented in colorful costumes of gypsies or Spanish dress.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia to English parents, Lidderdale moved back to England with his family as an adolescent. He studied and then successfully exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Some of his portrayals of young women seem oddly stylized, with preternaturally large eyes (not exactly a proto-Margaret Keane, just a little too big). Most, however were more naturalistic, and many have a delicate sensitivity to their subjects and a pleasing simplicity of composition.

2 Replies to “Charles Sillem Lidderdale”

  1. Every one of these pictures tells a story! The richly dressed girl at the door of the rustic cottage is having an affair with the gardener, but her expression and body language says she knows she will regret it. The girl in green with an unfolded letter has just been jilted by her fiancé. The girl with the green satin bow holds and wears black ribbons, symbols of mourning for a dead lover, symbolized by the wilted dead rose in her hand. 19th century narrative painting at its best.

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