The Bohemian Lifestyle
The Bohemian Lifestyle

Sandys' Love Life
Love Life

Later Years
Later Years


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Sandys' Life & Times
Self-portrait, Aged 19

Early Years

Antonio Frederic Augustus Sands was born in Norwich on May 1st 1829.

It soon became clear that he had great artistic talent and, encouraged by his father, himself a drawing master and portrait painter, Sandys exhibited his first picture aged ten. Only seven years later he won his first prize, receiving the silver Isis medal from the Society of Arts in London, for a chalk portrait.

In fact Sandys began work as a professional artist whilst he was young. In 1842 he was asked to paint an album of birds for the Yarmouth banker J. H. Gurney. This was closely followed by his work for Rev. James Bulwer between 1845 and 1847, as part of Bulwer's massive project known as 'The Norfolk Collection'. Bulwer employed Sandys and other artists to help him produce an illustrated record of practically every place in Norfolk, as well as of numerous antiquities and objects of interest.

Throughout his life Sandys returned to Norwich, visiting and painting for his old friends and new patrons. Reminders of his hometown, such as Bishops Bridge, often appear in the background of his works - he never forgot Norwich.

Text & image ©
Norwich Castle Museum
& Art Gallery