© National Portrait Gallery, London
Mary Frances Crane (née Andrews) as Laura; Walter Crane as Cimabue
by Sir Emery Walker Click on the links below to find out more
whole-plate glass negative, 1897?
Given by Emery Walker Ltd, 1956
- Sir Emery Walker (1851-1933), Process-engraver and printer. Artist associated with 116 portraits, Sitter in 10 portraits.
The actor, Henry Irving, commissioned Crane to capture the effect of his tableau vivant, which he based on Sir Frederick Leighton's famous painting Cimabue's Madonna carried through Florence (1853-5). Crane recalled he had played the thirteenth-century Florentine painter Cimabue 'in the white costume in which Leighton painted him'. The resulting watercolour, The Apotheosis of Italian Art (1885) reprised the tableau, featuring Crane's wife as Laura, the poet Petrarch's beloved, and their son Lionel as the painter Giotto. These nostalgic photographs, taken in a private setting around 1897 by Sir Emery Walker, another key figure in the Arts and Crafts movement, paid homage to the earlier masquerade.
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.