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Arthur Boyd Houghton

Arthur Boyd Houghton was a British artist known for his wood engravings, oil paintings, and watercolors.

Arthur Boyd Houghton (1836-1875) was a renowned English painter and illustrator known for his meticulous and lifelike depictions of historical and literary subjects. He was also influential in advancing the comic strip medium, demonstrating his artistic versatility. Houghton's skill in bringing stories to life through art has had a long-lasting influence on illustration and comics, solidifying him as an innovative artist of his era.

During the period of English book illustration's golden decade (c. 1860–75), he played a prominent role in the revival of wood-engraved art, which involved overcoming its limitations by a new generation of artists. Influenced deeply by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood's idealism, his paintings and drawings express a striking combination of realistic poetry. He was Captain John Michael Houghton's fourth son (1797–1874), who served as a draughtsman in the East India Company's Marine.

Laurence Housman created an anthology dedicated to the artist’s daughter Mrs E.C. Davis, published in 1896 (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trúbner & Co.). Additionally, Paul Hogarth authored both a biography and monograph about him that were published in London by Gordon Fraser in 1981.

His artwork is housed within several public collections including Tate Britain in London; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; British Museum, London; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; and Museum of Fine Arts Boston. It can also be found in various private collections globally.

While best known for his wood engravings, Houghton also produced numerous oil paintings and watercolors—often based on earlier wood engravings—which frequently depicted his wife and children. Moreover ,he authored some poetry that was published during his lifetime . Despite being left blindin one eye due to an accident as child—he had been shot with toy cannon fire—and unable to sustain focus when painting large works for exhibition at Royal Academy). He passed away iIn London.


Arthur Boyd Houghton - Wikipedia (2005). Available at:

Arthur Boyd Houghton 1836–1875 | Tate (2014). Available at:

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