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date: 02 June 2020

Dyce, Williamlocked

  • Bernarr Rainbow


(b Aberdeen, Sept 19, 1806; d Streatham, Feb 14, 1864). Scottish painter and pioneer in the revival of plainchant in Anglican use. The third son of a physician, Dyce showed a talent for painting and music at an early age. While still a pupil at Aberdeen Grammar School, he taught himself to play the organ, and at the age of 12 could extemporize ‘with great facility’. He took the MA at Marischal College, Aberdeen, at the age of 16, going on to read medicine; but finding the subject uncongenial, he turned to theology with the intention of entering the priesthood, though his enthusiasm for painting remained strong. Thenceforward, the three main interests of his youth – painting, music and the church – were to exert their combined influence upon his activities. The religious subjects which Dyce found so congenial in his meticulously executed canvases display one aspect of that merging of influences. Another is to be found in his scholarly endeavours for the reform of church music....

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