NPG 1833 (1b)
in the design a name, I made further designs of the attitudes required in order to produce a natural and effective group. I then took a photographer round to the residences of my sitters by appointment, and personally posed each for the photographer.
As might be expected, when each person was drawn upon the canvas they did not all fit in, so in many cases I had to change the position and redraw the figure from a model or from the sitter as circumstances permitted.
By making personal visits, taking sketches and notes, I thus became acquainted with each person whom I intended to put in the group.
I now proceeded to construct my picture and take life sittings as soon as I had sketched the figure on the canvas. I believe, that with the exception of a small head of Mr Frank Holl R.A. who died about this time, and the head of Mr G.F. Watts R.A. who if I recollect rightly was ill at Brighton, I had one or more life sittings from everyone in the picture and very interesting sitters some of them were. Mr Geo. Richmond R.A. told me many anecdotes of Sir Thomas Lawrence who was once a personal friend of his. To the present generation the personality of Sir Thomas Lawrence seems very distant. Mr Hodgson R.A. told me an amusing anecdote of J.M.W. Turner R.A. This tale was that Hodgson, Turner and another R.A., whose name I have forgotten, were visiting Italy. Early one morning Turner rushed into their bedrooms waking them out of their sleep with "Get up you fellows and come and (see) this glorious purple" They got up and Turner took them to