Frank Dillon was a younger member of that great generation of British topographical painters which flourished in the first half of the nineteenth century.
He is particularly noted for his views of Egypt. The European fascination with this part of the world followed the Napoleonic campaign of 1798, generating a desire for Egyptian-style design and architecture and for views of the country, both ancient and contemporary. This demand lasted throughout the nineteenth century.
Dillon, son of a silk mercer, was born in 1823 and entered the Royal Academy in London at the comparatively late age of 26.
He began to travel in 1848-1849, when he visited Portugal and Madeira with his wife Josephine. Colnaghi published a volume of lithographs entitled A series of Views of Funchal and the Neighbourhood following this visit (1850).
That year also saw his first exhibitions at both the Royal Academy and the British Institution and in the course of the next fifty years he regularly displayed works at almost all the major British oil and watercolour exhibitions.
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