Edwin Longsden Long (1829-1891) was born in Bath, and studied as a painter at the British Museum in London.
He visited Spain on the advice of John Phillip (painter best known for his paintings portraying Spanish life), and was influenced by the paintings of Diego Velazquez and other Spanish masters.
The Suppliants, The Expulsion of Gypsies from Spain
Long visited Egypt and the Holy Land in 1874 and his work began to reflect this new influence. His painting, ‘The Babylonian Marriage Market’ was a huge success at the Royal Academy ... not difficult to see why, really. So much detail on the wall at the 'back'; so much happening with the people; the light reflecting off the mirror held by the young lady at the bottom left ...
The Babylonian Marriage Market
Long was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1870, and an academician in 1881.
His paintings, which depicted historic settings and ancient artefacts, were praised for the accurate depictions of both. Although he started his career as a portrait painter, yet he did not achieve great success in that line, unless one measures success in high patronage and high prices. According to art historian, Sir Lionel Cust (1859-1929), “In his earlier works, Long showed great power and thoroughly deserved his success and popularity,” but his later works “suffered from a continual repetition of types which resulted in monotony.”
Edwin Long died suddenly of pneumonia, aged 62.
My favourites of his work are the ones that feature Egypt …
Aleth Attendant of the Sacred Ibis in the Temple of Isis
An Ancient Custom
An Egyptian Feast -- the amount of detail on the wall - !!
The Gods and Their Makers
Sacred to Pasht
Preparing for the Festival of Anubis