© National Portrait Gallery, London
Walter Crane as Cimabue
by Sir Emery Walker Click on the links below to find out more
whole-plate glass negative, circa 1897
Given by Emery Walker Ltd, 1956
- Walter Crane (1845-1915), Illustrator, designer, painter and socialist. Sitter in 17 portraits.
- Sir Emery Walker (1851-1933), Process-engraver and printer. Artist associated with 116 portraits, Sitter in 10 portraits.
Sir Emery Walker's photographs of Walter Crane are a testament to the enduring appeal of fancy dress amongst artistic circles, and to the intellectual interests that underpinned these masquerades. A notable distinction of the nineteenth-century society's engagement with medievalism was their use of costume as a means of manifesting the past. Walter Crane was a leading illustrator and decorative artist, whose work encouraged a Medieval revival. The source of the imagery for this picture dates back to 1884, when Crane devised a tableau vivant celebrating the 'Arts of Italy' to help mark the re-inauguration of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in Piccadilly.
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee is marked by a series of celebratory events, and attended by eleven colonial prime ministers following the Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain's proposal that the Jubilee be made a festival of the British Empire. The Workmen's Compensation Act gives workmen a right to a limited compensation in every case of injury by accident arising from the course of employment; it is a landmark piece of legislation in employment law.
Art and science
Bram Stoker's Dracula
is first published.Henry Tate of the Tate and Lyle sugar company donates his art collection to the nation, buying land and building a gallery space for it (now Tate Britain).Physician and psychologist Havelock Ellis publishes the first volume of his Studies in the Psychology of Sex
, and the English physicist John Thompson discovers the existence of the electron.
The burning of Benin city by Britain takes place, known also as the Punitive Exhibition of 1897. The excursion, led by Admiral Sir Harry Rawson, was a response to an attack by Benin warriors on a British delegation sent to settle a dispute over customs duties collected by British traders. During the expedition the British Admiralty destroyed much of the city's treasured art, including the Benin Bronzes, auctioning off the rest as war booty to recoup costs.