Paul Falconer Poole
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A painter of historical subjects, genre and portraits, Paul Falconer Poole was born at Bristol in 1806. Though self-taught his fine feeling for colour, poetic sympathy and dramatic power gained for him a high position among British artists. He exhibited his first work in the Royal Academy at the age of twenty-five, the subject being " The Well," a scene in Naples. There was an interval of seven years before he next exhibited his " Farewell, Farewell " n 1837, which was followed by the " Emigrant's Departure," ' Hermann and Dorothea " and " By the Waters of Babylon." [n 1843 his position was made secure by his " Solomon Eagle," and by his success in the Cartoon Exhibition, in which he received from the Fine Art Commissioners a prize of £300 sterling. After his exhibition of the " Surrender of Syon House " he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1846, and was made an academician in 1861. He died in 1879.
Poole's subjects divide themselves into two orders—one idyllic, the other dramatic. Of the former his " May Day " (1852) is a typical example. Of both styles there were excellent examples to be seen in the small collection of his works shown at Burlington House in the Winter Exhibition of 1883-1884. Among his early dramatic pictures was " Solomon Eagle exhorting the People to Repentance during the Plague of 1665," painted in 1843. To this class belongs also the " Messenger announcing to Job the Irruption of the Sabeans and the Slaughter of the Servants " (exhibited in 1850), and " Robert, Duke of Normandy .and Arietta" (1848). Finer examples of his more mature power in this direction are to be found in his " Prodigal Son," painted in. 1869; the " Escape of Glaucusand lone with the blind girl Nydia from Pompeii" (1860); and " Cunstaunce sent adrift by the Constable of Alia, King of Northumberland," painted in 1868. More peaceful than these are the " Song of Troubadours " (painted in 1854) and the " Goths in Italy" (1851), the latter an important historical work of great, power and beauty. Of a less lofty strain, but still more beautiful in its workmanship, is the " Seventh Day of the Decameron," painted in 1857. In this picture Poole rises to his full height as a colourist. In his pastorals he is soft and tender, as in the " Mountain Path " (1853), the " Water-cress Gatherers " (1870), the " Shepston Maiden " (1872). But when he turns to the grander and more sublime views of nature his work is bold and vigorous. Fine examples of this style may be seen in the " Vision of Ezekiel" of the National Gallery, "Solitude" (1876), the " Entrance to the Cave of Mammon " (1875), the " Dragon's Cavern" (1877), and perhaps best of all in the " Lion in the Path " (1873), a great representation of mountain and cloud form.