Art: Terrible & Beautiful

Few of the admirers of Sir Luke Fildes' work would recognize his name. Art critics pass him by sniffily. But his best-known painting has been reproduced as widely—in schoolbooks, ads, doctors' offices, and on postcards—as almost any in history. Last week Fildes' The Doctor turned up on a 3¢ stamp.

Fildes (rhymes with shields) would not have been too surprised. In the daguerreotypes of his heyday, Sir Luke looked like any well-fed Victorian gent, complete with goatee, chesterfield, and top hat. But he was more: a member of England's Royal Academy and a painter of royalty, including Edward VII, Queen Alexandra and...

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