Born Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys in Norwich in 1832. He spent most of his life in London where he died in 1902, but Norfolk scenes appear regularly in his art. Between 1861 and 1866 he established a high reputation among his peers as an illustrator for the periodicals of the day ( Once a Week, Good Words ) He was influenced by his studies in German Renaissance prints. His name was synonymous with industry and graphic flair. It was boasted of him that he never needed to alter a drawing. In later life his energies were wasted in large pastel portraits of his major patrons such as the Colman family of Norwich.

Many of his images contain puzzling symbolism. His reference to Japanese imagery in Until Her Death (there is a drawing of a samurai on the side of the vase) still puzzles. He uses a similar pose in The Old Chartis t, combined with odd detailed features in the landscape beyond. He was to use the subject in a painting now in the collection of the Castle Museum, Norwich.

"Oh for the physical strength to work 10 or 12 hours a day like Sandys and not suffer; I have been rather overdoing it and feel queerish." The illustrator George Du Maurier, October 1861, in D.Du Maurier (ed) The Young George Du Maurier, London, Peter Davies. 1951. p.88.

In January 1862, Du Maurier records of Fred Sandys, "If he has a patch of grass to do in a cut an inch square, he makes a large and highly finished study from nature for it first; tu conçois qu'un gaillard pareil ira loin ; he has work in hand for 2 years, after which he will go abroad." (p.99)


01 right - final wood engraving illustrating Christina Rossetti's poem, 'Amor Mundi' , published in The Shilling Magazine 1865. Frederick Sandys own favourite image. right - final drawing for 'Amor Mundi' from Pennell, Pen Drawing.

02 "The Old Chartist" To illustrate a poem by George Meredith from Once a Week , Volume 6 p.183. "The old man, returning home from transportation, leans upon a great stone by the brook side and watches a brown water rat...." text from BIBLOGRAPHIA , PART 9, circa1897.


"Until her death !" the words read strange yet real,
Like things afar off suddenly brought near:
Will it be slow or speedy, full of fear,
Or calm as a spent day of peace ideal ?
Will her brown locks lie white on coffin pillow ?
Will these her eyes, that sometime were called sweet,
Close after years of dried up tears, or meet
Death's dust in midst of weeping ? And that billow -
Her restless heart - will it be stopped, still heaving,
Or softly ebb 'neath age's placid breath ?
Will it be lonely, this mysterious death,
Fit close unto this solitary living, -
A turning of her face to the wall, nought spoken,
Exchanging this world's light for heaven's ; -
or will
She part in pain, from warm love to the chill
Unknown, pursued with cries of hearts half-broken ?
With fond lips felt through all the mists of dying,
And close arms clung to in the struggle vain ; -
Or, these things past, will death be only gain,
Unto her life's long question God's replying ?
No more. Within His hand, divine as tender,
He holds the mystic measure of her days ;
And be they few or many, His the praise, -
In life or death, her Keeper and Defender.
Then, come He soon or late, she will not fear Him ;
But her end lone or loveful, she'll not grieve ;
For He whom she believed in - doth believe -
Will call her from the dust, and she will hear Him.

04"Rosamund, Queen of the the Lombards"; Once a Week, Vol V, 1861

05 As sensuous as Sandys gets, with the Pre-Raphaelite emphasis on hair and lips.  

06 Life's Journey from Willmott's English Sacred Poems 1862

07"Manoli" Cornhill Magazine , Vol.VI 1862 a virtuous woman walled up by suspicious mate.

HEAD OF A GIRL, date unknown

PROUD MAISIE (Mary Jones) later version 1903

Portrait of Marion Chinnery 1882


"ST.GEORGE" study from The Artist 1897 (single)

A Pre-Raphaelite Nightmare from The Artist 1898 (single)

From My Window Once a Week, 1861