(b London, 2 May 1816; d Algiers, 26 Mar. 1863). English painter. He painted historical, anecdotal, and literary themes (he was a friend of Dickens and a talented actor), and under the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites he also turned to overtly moralizing subjects. His most famous work in this vein is Past and Present (1858, Tate, London), a series of three pictures melodramatically illustrating the dire consequences of adultery.
Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)