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‘The Changer of Hearts’ by Philip Hermogenes Calderon R.A. (1833-1898).


A fine 19th century three quarter length portrait of a Vestal Virgin of the Temple of Venus by the important Royal Academician Philip Hermogenes Calderon. The painting is signed by the artist and dated 1887, and hangs in its original gold leaf exhibition frame.


As with all of the original antique oil paintings we sell it is offered in excellent condition, having just been professionally cleaned, restored and re-varnished. Clients should also note that tracked and signed for international shipping is complimentary.


“The changer of hearts\” was an epithet of the Roman goddess Venus, alluding to her ability to change hearts from lust to chastity.


Having studied in London and Paris, Philip Calderon began exhibiting historical and literary pictures and portraiture at the Royal Academy in 1853. A friend and contemporary of William Holman Hunt (1827-1910), Dante Gabriel Rosetti (1828-1882) and John Everett Millais (1829-1896) his style was initially Pre Raphaelite yet in subject was initially closer to the artists of The Clique such as William Powell Frith (1819-1909) and Henry Nelson O’Neil (1817-880) and later to the classical themes of the Olympians Lord Leighton (1830-1896) and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912).


Calderon was elected an ARA in 1864 and a full Academician three years later, aged just 34. In the same year he became the first British artist to be awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition.


Calderon was the leader of the St John\’s Wood Clique which included (several of the most important painters of historical subject pictures and academic portraiture of the 1860s and 70s) John Evan Hodgson RA, George Dunlop Leslie RA, Henry Stacy Marks RA, Val Prinsep RA, George Adolphus Storey RA, and Frederick Walker ARA. Perhaps above all else, Calderon was a superb painter of female beauty. In 1887 the artist received one of the Royal Academy’s highest honours when he was appointed Keeper of the RA.


Dimensions: (framed) 70cm x 76cm (27½” x 30”)

Dimensions: (canvas only) 47cm x 54cm (18½” x 21¼”)

Medium: Oil on canvas.

Provenance: Private UK collection.

Presentation: Original Victorian exhibition gold leaf frame.

Condition: Excellent. Newly professionally cleaned, restored, and re-varnished. Ready to hang.



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