Success as an artist
Eastlake was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1827 and was made a full member three years later, an event which induced his return to England. The 1830s was his most productive decade as a painter. His subjects of bandits and idealised female portraits were particularly popular, although today it is his landscape sketches that are perhaps most admired.
From the 1840s, however, Eastlake spent increasing amounts of time writing about art. In 1840 he translated Goethe’s 'Colour Theory' and wrote a lengthy review of Johann David Passavant’s 'Rafael von Urbino und sein Vater Giovanni Santi'. The following year he compiled notes for Franz Kugler’s handbook of Italian painting. In 1847 his own 'Materials for a History of Oil Painting' was published, a book which was quickly translated into German and Italian and which is still widely consulted today.