British artists' suppliers, 1650-1950 - G

A selective resource, 3rd edition October 2011 (*revised entry, **new entry). Updated selectively twice yearly, last updated September 2017. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at jsimon@npg.org.uk.

Resources and bibliography Introduction



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W. Frank Gadsby Ltd, see J. Bryce Smith Ltd

Updated March 2016
John David Galliard,
12 Noel St, London 1779, 227 Piccadilly 1783-1785, Barton St, Westminster 1786-1789, 14 Barton St and Marsham St, Westminster 1790, Ann Galliard, Poland St 1794-1797, 15 Dean St 1807. Suppliers of Swiss crayons, watercolours and brushes.

John David Galliard, watercolour maker, was in business at 12 Noel St by the time he took out insurance on 9 January 1779, covering his utensils and stock for £250 (London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 271/408861). As D. Galliard, 227 Piccadilly, he advertised his Swiss crayons in 1783, describing them as improved by Messrs Pache and Galliard, who were instructed by the late inventor, Bernard Stoupan (Public Advertiser 7 June 1783; see also Bonhote in this online resource). His trade card, with added date 1784, provides further details of these crayons, ‘Removed from Noel Street/ GALLIARD'S/ ORIGINAL SWISS CRAYONS,/ For which the Society for the Encouragement of/ Arts, Manufacturers, & Commerce, granted a Bounty to/ PACHE AND GALLIARD;/ are made & sold by him, at No. 227, opposite to the/ Black Bear Inn, Piccadilly;/ and nowhere else in the British Dominions/ Where the Nobility Gentry and Artists may be supplied/ An Allowance to those who purchase for Exportation./ Sell also Water Colours & Pencils./ Longmate sculpsit Noel Street’ (Banks coll. 89.26, repr. Kosek 1998).

Galliard was listed as John David Galliard in 1784 (Bailey’s British directory) and as David Galliard in 1790 (Wakefield’s directory). He is probably the Jean David Galliard who married Ann Hilditch at St James Westminster in 1777. He may have died in the early 1790s, leaving his widow to continue in business.

Artists using Galliard include Ozias Humphry, who paid ‘Mrs Galliard’ £1.16s on 1 August 1793 (British Library, Add.MS 22952, Humphry’s bank book) and William Wood who records using Galliard’s crayons in his drawing, Cupid Reading, 1799 (V&A National Art Library, MSL/1944/436).

Ann Gilliard, presumably Galliard, took out insurance as a water colour maker from 15 Dean St in 1807 (London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 437/798573). Another member of the Galliard family had a dance academy at 9 Noel St, close to John David Galliard’s premises.

Jemima Gascoyne (1842-1914), see John Capes

Gilders Workshop Ltd,
Essex, see Lechertier Barbe

Added September 2013
, updated March 2015
Alphonse Giroux
1799-1840 (listed most years), Alphonse Giroux et Cie 1809-1856 (listed most years), not traced here after 1856. At Place Thionville, Paris 1799-1800, (120?) Rue du Coq, Saint-Honoré, Paris 1802-1805, road apparently renumbered 1805, 7 Rue du Coq 1806-1850, 3 Rue du Coq 1851-1853, 14 Boulevard Poissonnière 1854, 43 Boulevard des Capucines from 1855, not traced here after 1856. Artists’ suppliers, print publishers, picture dealers and restorers, later producers of daguerreotypes and inlaid furniture makers.

Continental suppliers used by artists with British connections are treated in summary detail in this online resource. The leading Paris colourman and entrepreneur, Alphonse Giroux (1776-1848), traded at the sign, Au Coq Honoré, at no.7 (and sometimes also no.8) rue du Coq (now the rue Marengo), variously under his own name and in partnership as A. Giroux et Cie. His son, Alphonse Gustave Giroux (1809-86) took over the management in 1838, if not before, and from 1833 ‘Alphonse Giroux père’ was listed separately as a picture restorer.

The business’s varied activities have been traced by Marie-Christine Maréchal and by Linda Whiteley (see Sources below): suppliers of materials for artists, publishers, picture dealers holding exhibitions of old masters and contemporary art, picture restorers to the church of Notre Dame in Paris, pioneer producers of daguerreotypes and cabinet makers. The focus here is on Giroux’s role as a supplier of artists’ materials. An example of his trade card with a view of his shopfront, with added date 1800, can be found in the Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor (repr. The Ephemerist, no.141, summer 2008, p.23, and available online on the Waddesdon website).  

In 1822 Giroux’s shop was was listed as ‘Papeterie, Couleurs, et Galerie de tableaux’ and was said to supply ‘tous les articles nécessaires au dessin, au lavis des plans, à l'aquarelle, à la gouache, à la peinture sur porcelaine, à la miniature et à l'huile, comme aussi à la fourniture des bureaux. On y fabrique les cadres dorés pour encadrement d'estampes et de tableaux.’ (Bazar parisien, ou Annuaire raisonné de l'industrie, 1822, p.237, accessed through Gallica).

Giroux et Cie stocked brushes made by ‘Dagnian’, possibly Dagneau (qv), the celebrated Paris brush maker (see label in colour box, repr. Callen 2000 p.29). From 1844 to 1856, A. Giroux & Cie claimed to be ‘seules dépositaires de Newman de Londres’, although other Paris firms had previously stocked James Newman’s materials (Didot frères, Annuaire Général du Commerce ... Paris, 1852, etc; see also Constantin 2001 p.54). For Newman, see British artists' suppliers on this website.

Contacts with artists linked to Britain: A sketchbook used by the German-born George Scharf senr (1788-1860), shortly before settling in London, can be found in the British Museum (1900, 0725.122). Inside the front cover it is inscribed: ‘This Book cost 10 francs. I had it made at Alphons Girroux, Rue du Coque, St Honoré Paris. 1815’. And on the first leaf: ‘All the Sketches in this Book I made in the Bois de Boulogne where I was myselve encamped, as sketched near Paris in 1815’.

Giroux et Cie’s 1827 picture catalogue included some examples of work by young English artists then in fashion, including Bonington, Callow, Newton Fielding and, later, Constable (Whiteley, 1983, see Sources below, p.67), but there is no evidence to suggest that these artists used Giroux for supplies.

Sources: Marie-Christine Maréchal, ‘Alphonse Giroux (1776-1848), fournisseur pour artistes et restaurateurs’, Techné, nos 27-28, 2008, pp.71-8; Linda Whiteley, ‘Art et commerce d’art en France avant l’époque impressioniste’, Romantisme, no.40, 1983, pp.66ff; Linda Whiteley, ‘Giroux’, in Jane Turner, The Grove Dictionary of Art, 1996, vol.12, pp.740-1; Clotilde Roth-Meyer, Les Marchands de couleurs à Paris au XIXe siècle, PhD thesis, Université Paris Sorbonne, 2004, for Paris Almanach addresses (and see p.88 n.161 for possible renumbering of Rue du Coq c.1805); Pascal Labreuche, Paris, capitale de la toile à peindre, XVIIIe-XIXe siècle, Paris, 2011, pp.143, 171, 201-202. See also La maison Giroux Duvinage | Guide Labreuche (2014). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

Edward Goodwin, see William Strachan

Mrs Penelope Gore (c.1801-88), Birmingham, see Thomas J. Morris

Grace and Yallop, see Yallop and Grace

*Edward Graeff, 56 Beaumont St, Portland Place, London 1847, 13 Douro Cottages, Wellington Road, St John's Wood 1854-1856, 20 Devonshire Square, Southwark 1871. Artists' lay figure maker.

Edward Jordan Graeff (1812-78) was the son of John George Graeff and his wife Mary. He was christened at old St Pancras Church in 1812. He inherited property from his mother at her death in 1834 and his name occurs in connection with property in Finchley in 1835 and 1847 (London Metropolitan Archives, ACC/0170 and 0351). Graeff appeared before the Court for Insolvent Debtors in 1843, being described as late one of the sworn clerks of the Court of Chancery (London Gazette 1 August 1843, 17 September 1844). He married Sophia Susannah Gayleard in 1848.

Graeff advertised in 1854, giving his address but not his name, 'Life-size Adult Lay Figures, stuffed and covered in cotton, from £6 6s; the best that can be made, covered in silk, wig, universal pedestal, &c., complete, £11...' (The Times 3 May 1854; further advertisements on 15 January and 1 October 1855). In the 1871 census he was listed as Edward Graiff, lay figure maker, age 59, born Euston Square, with three children.

*Sebastiano (‘Bassanio’) Grandi, London by 1789, 6 Brownlow St, Long Acre 1806. Colour merchant.

In discussing Joshua Reynolds's models with William Hazlitt, James Northcote described Grandi as the Italian colour grinder who sat to poor effect for King Henry VI in Reynolds's Death of Cardinal Beaufort (1788-9), leading Henry Fuseli to joke that 'Grandi never held up his head after Sir Joshua painted him in his Cardinal Beaufort' (William Hazlitt, Conversations of James Northcote, Esq., R.A., 1830, p.174).

Grandi was active in London by 1789, it would seem, at least until 1806, and perhaps as late as 1822. He sold crayons to Joseph Farington, 1796, and laid grounds for him, 1798 and 1802 (Farington vol.3, p.1009, vol.5, p.1752). Grandi offered to instruct Royal Academicians in the Venetian process, 1797 (Farington vol.3, pp.811, 841, 930, 850, 920). Farington noted in his diary Grandi’s approach to the Society of Arts for support for his colours in 1806 (Farington vol.7, p.2721). This approach resulted in the award of the Society’s Silver Medal for colours and materials for painting and for a preparation of grounds on panels for painters; he also submitted a method for purifying oils for the use of painters (Transactions of the Society of Arts, vol.24, 1806, pp.85-9, accessed through Google Book Search; see also Carlyle 2001 p.33). He claimed to have discovered how to prepare canvas, copper, or panel, in the old Venetian style, citing ‘the peculiar harmony, brightness, and durability’ of the work of Titian, Veronese, the Bassani and other Venetian masters. Various artists provided certificates in favour of this award, namely William Beechey, Richard Cosway, Joseph Farington, Thomas Lawrence, P.J. de Loutherbourg, James Northcote, John Opie, Richard Paye, Isaac Pocock, Martin Archer Shee and Benjamin West.

Grandi was described by George Field (qv) as ‘a most ignorant Italian quack in Colours, absorbent grounds, and Vehicles. A Mountebank and droll’ (Carlyle 2001 p.39 n.7), and by John Cawse in 1822 as ‘an Italian colour-grinder and maker’; Cawse also described Grandi’s Venetian ground (Carlyle 2001 p.167).

For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

*Daniel Green by 1834-1839, Green & Constable 1840 until 1852 or later. At 5 King William St, London Bridge, London 1834-1837, 36 King William St 1838-1852. Furnishing ironmonger.

Green & Constable advertised as selling Silas Bentley's porcelain-lustre varnish for paintings, with testimonials from Martin Archer Shee, Abraham Cooper, Ramsay Richard Reinagle, C.R. Leslie, William Etty and J.D. Harding (The Art-Union March 1845 p.87). This varnish was used by James Baker Pyne over the space of some 20 years from 1844 for many pictures (Pyne’s Picture memoranda, V&A National Art Library, MSL/1947/1562-1563). Green & Constable had an account with Roberson, 1845-52 (Woodcock 1997).

*Green & Stone 1927-1931, Green & Stone Ltd from 1931. At 258a King’s Road SW3 1928-1939, 259 Kings Road from 1940 onwards. Artists’ materials suppliers and picture framemakers.

The Green & Stone business was established in 1927, shortly before Chenil Ltd (qv) stopped trading. It advertised as late of the Chenil Gallery in January 1928, as artists' colourmen, picture framers, exhibition agents, fine art dealers and packers, picture restorers, etc (The London Portrait Society: Illustrated Catalogue of their first exhibition, New Burlington Galleries, 1928, p.28). It is said to have been based within the Chenil Gallery at first, before setting up at 258a King’s Road, where Alfred Green and his son Alfie ran the shop primarily as a picture framing business, initially with only a small section of art materials. The business advertised exhibition frames and artists' materials (The Artist March 1934). Rodney Baldwin, the present owner, first set foot in the store as trainee manager, 1972, purchasing the business from the Greens, 1978 .

Green & Stone’s distinctive canvas stamp within the device of an artist’s palette can be found on Arnold Mason’s Elinor Glyn, 1942 (National Portrait Gallery). Anthony Gross obtained his paper and watercolour pigments from the shop (see Robert E. Wynne-Jones, A Historical Investigation into the Watercolour Paper and Pigments used by Official and Unofficial British War Artists during the Second World War, IIC conference poster, 2002).

Griffith & Wikey, see John Wikey

Griffiths, London, 1797. Colourman.

Said to be George Romney's main supplier by 1797 (David A. Cross, A Striking Likeness: The Life of George Romney, Ashgate Publishing, 2000, p.83), but not otherwise traced.

Added March 2012
Robert Griffiths, 20 King St, Percival St, Clerkenwell, London 1869-1870, 144 Pentonville Road 1871-1879, Tottenham Square, London 1880-1882. Colour box manufacturer to the trade, subsequently fancy cabinetmaker.

Robert Griffiths (c.1841-c.1881) may be the master cabinet maker, age 21, given as lodging at Wilmington Place, Clerkenwell in the 1861 census. He was recorded at 144 Pentonville Road in the 1871 census as an artists’ colour box manufacturer, age 30, with his wife Jane and son Robert, age 8. He was listed as an artists’ colour box maker, artists’ colourman and fancy cabinetmaker in the 1872 London directory and as a fancy cabinetmaker in 1877.

Updated March 2012
Robert Griffiths, 32a Cowper St, City Road 1881-1884, 7 Portpool Lane, Gray's Inn Road, London EC by 1892-1901 as showcard framemaker (previously listed elsewhere), 5-7 Portpool Lane 1902 as wedge frame maker, 26-31 Eyre Street Hill, Hatton Garden EC1 1903-1937, apparently renumbered 1937/8, 3-11 Eyre Street Hill 1938-1952. Initially a fancy cabinetmaker, then an artists’ stretcher maker.

Robert Griffiths (1862/3-1952) was the son of Robert Griffiths (see above), artists’ colour box manufacturer. This and the following biographical information has kindly been provided by Tony Griffiths, great grandson of the younger Robert Griffiths. The younger Robert Griffiths can be found in census records in 1871 as above, in 1881 as a fancy cabinetmaker with his widowed mother, Jane Griffiths, at 216 Leather Lane, Clerkenwell, in 1891 at 13 Hanover St, Clerkenwell, a picture framemaker and employer, with his wife Martha Louisa and two children, in 1901 at 104 Mattison Road, Haringey as an artists’ framemaker and employer, with his wife and three children, and in 1911 at the same address as an artists’ joinery manufacturer and employer, with his wife and three children, one of whom, Jessie, was a secretary in her father’s business.

The business advertised that it had been established in 1860 (The Artist September 1939 p.vii). It was listed from 1902 as selling stretcher frames for artists’ canvas. It advertised wedged frames for artists’ canvases and all artists’ joinery (Art Review 1935 p.xix). In 1896, Patrick Shea (qv), artists’ colourman, wrote of the difficulty in being sure of obtaining stretchers from Griffiths, presumably Robert Griffiths, when in a hurry, stating that ‘There is only Griffiths in the field’. In May 1931 the picture framers, Alfred Stiles & Sons Ltd, supplied Laura Knight with a large stretcher made by Griffiths (Hammersmith Archives, DD/76/20, day book 1930-31, opening 257).

Updated September 2014
Lewis Guerre,
Dean St, Soho, London 1789-1790. Copper plate maker for engravers.

Lewis Guerre can be found in rate books in Dean St in 1789 and 1790. He appears without address in Wakefield’s 1790 London directory, where he is described as a copper plate maker for engravers. He is presumably the individual who supplied the copper plate for Thomas Gainsborough’s print, Wooded Landscape, mid-1780s?, the plate stamped three times on reverse: GUERRE (Tate, T01425, see The Tate Gallery 1970-72, 1972, p.58, and John Hayes, Gainsborough as printmaker, 1971).

Thomas Robert Guest (1754-1818), see Rowney

Found a mistake? Have some extra information? Please contact Jacob Simon at jsimon@npg.org.uk.

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