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William Dyce was a Scottish painter who played a vital role in establishing public art education in the United Kingdom. He was instrumental in creating the South Kensington Schools system. He was also associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and helped to promote the movement early on. His paintings are among the most celebrated examples of British art. A great number of people have been influenced by his work, including many artists who influenced the development of the British Modernist movement.

His portraits are among his most popular works. He was also engaged in painting a series of frescoes for the Houses of Parliament. Some of his best-known frescoes are the Baptism of Ethelbert, located in the House of Lords, and the King Arthur series, located in the queen's robing room. Despite his many works of art, Dyce did not have any success as a commercial artist.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Dyce studied Italian and other foreign languages. This style of painting predated the English Pre-Raphaelites, and he aimed for simplicity and repose. He painted frescoes in the Houses of Parliament, which were largely unfinished when he died in 1850. After his death, he was elected to be a professor at King's College, London.

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