English Pre-Raphaelite Painter, 1840-1905
was an English Pre-Raphaelite painter. Solomon was born into a prominent Jewish family. He was the eighth and last child born to merchant Michael (Meyer) Solomon and artist Catherine (Kate) Levy. Solomon was a younger brother to fellow painters Abraham Solomon (1824?C1862) and Rebecca Solomon (1832?C1886). Born and educated in London, Solomon started receiving lessons in painting from his older brother around 1850. He started attending Carey's Art Academy in 1852. His older sister first exhibited her works at the Royal Academy during the same year. As a student at the Royal Academy Schools, Solomon was introduced through Dante Gabriel Rossetti to other members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle, including the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne and the painter Edward Burne-Jones in 1857. His first exhibition was at the Royal Academy in 1858. He continued to hold exhibitions of his work at the Royal Academy between 1858 and 1872. In addition to the literary paintings favoured by the Pre-Raphaelite school, Solomon's subjects often included scenes from the Hebrew Bible and genre paintings depicting Jewish life and rituals. Solomon lived as an openly gay man in a time when it was not socially acceptable to do so, but in 1873 his career was cut short when he was arrested in a public urinal at Stratford Place Mews, off Oxford Street, in London and charged with indecent exposure and attempting to commit sodomy. He was sentenced to serve eighteen months' hard labour in prison, but this was later reduced to police supervision. He was arrested again in 1874 in Paris, after which he was sentenced to spend three months in prison. In 1884 he was admitted to the workhouse where he continued to produce work; however, his life and talent were blighted by alcoholism. Twenty years later in 1905, he died from complications brought on by his alcoholism. He was buried at the Jewish Cemetery in Willesden.