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 Egypt followed the Napoleonic campaign of 1798, producing a demand for Egyptian-style design and architecture and for views of Egypt, both ancient and modern. This demand lasted throughout the nineteenth century.
Dillon, son of a silk mercer, was born in 1823 and entered the Royal Academy Schools, London at the late age of 26. He began to travel in 1848-1849, when he visited Portugal and Madeira with his wife Josephine. Colnaghi's published a volume of lithographs entitled A series of Views of Funchal and the Neighbourhood following this visit (1850). That year saw his first exhibitions at both the Royal Academy and the British Institution and in the course of the next fifty years he regularly showed at almost all the major British oil and watercolour exhibitions.
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