James Sant (1820-1916) was an English painter who is rather unknown today. I believe Sant is this neglected because he continued to painting in the style of Joshua Reynolds at the time the Pre-Raphaelites were popular. It’s a shame since Sant was an excellent painter, I thought it would be worth while to post his work for a comparison to the Pre-Raphaelites. It is worth noting, Sant was an acquaintance of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Sant’s daughter Sarah Fanny and son Jemmy were the subjects of photographic studies by Dodgson.

James Sant ~ The Infant Sameul ~ 1853

Sant painted the Infant Samuel in 1853, at the time the Pre-Raphaelites were most active. In contrast to the work of the Brotherhood, the strong chiaroscuro and dark background reflects the influence of the Baroque masters. There was a genre of painting Biblical figures as children in the 18th century. The painting recalls Reynold’s the Infant John the Baptist. Samuel was Sant’s first popular painting, it was such a success, engravings of it sold in great numbers.

James Sant ~ Courage Anxiety and Despair

I think Courage, Anxiety and Despair is Sant’s most impressive painting. The Pre-Raphaelites may have idealized women but they didn’t really paint allegories of this kind. This type of painting was more common in the Baroque, the dynamic composition reminds me of Caravaggio.

James Sant ~ Ophelia ~ 1864

I found Sant’s work when I did a google search for Ophelia and found this painting. Sant’s Ophelia is really in the style of Reynolds, it could have been painted in the 18th century.

James Sant ~ Astronomy

James Sant ~ The Athenaeum Contemplation

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