Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Walter Greaves (1846-1930), Painter

Undated self-portraits
By other artists

Establishing a list of images of Walter Greaves is difficult: he looks like his brother Henry, also an artist, and both brothers consciously adopted J.M. Whistler’s appearance and dress. Also dates, where inscribed, are notoriously unreliable: Whistler stopped dating his paintings in the early 1870s and this probably influenced the brothers to do the same. Even where Greaves’ works are dated this sometimes refers to when the scene took place – often decades earlier, especially with images involving Whistler.

Self-portraitsback to top

Pencil and grisaille watercolour drawing, 490 x 622mm, by Walter and Henry Greaves, Whistler in the Cremorne Gardens, signed and dated lower right ‘H. & W. Greaves / 1866’, Whistleresque figure standing with cane and hat by Venus fountain (Whistler according to Pocock; Henry Greaves according to Denker), another Whistleresque figure in top hat sitting with legs crossed at table (Walter Greaves according to Pocock; Whistler according to Denker) with Tinnie (sister of the Greaves brothers), Chinese bandstand in background; untraced; Sotheby’s, London, 13 May 1987 (86, ill. prov. A. Jefress). Repr. Pocock 1970, facing p.48; Denker 1995, p.103.

Crayon and chalk drawing, 279 x 159mm; untraced. Exh. Walter Greaves, 1846–1930, and the Goupil Gallery: Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, Michael Parkin Fine Art, London, 1984 (128).

Etching and drypoint, three-quarter-length, seated to left; coll. Charterhouse, London. Repr. NACF Annual Review 1980, no.2806.[1]

Oil on canvas, Walter Greaves and Alice Greaves on the Embankment, whole-length, seated to left on bench; Tate, N04564.

Crayon and chalk drawing, 216 x 140mm, signed with monogram; untraced. Exh. Walter Greaves, 1846–1930, and the Goupil Gallery: Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, Michael Parkin Fine Art, 1984 (129).

Undated self-portraitsback to top

Oil on canvas, three-quarter-length, seated to left, with palette; Birmingham MAG, P.18'48.

Oil on paper, three-quarter-length, seated to left, with palette; Tate, N06246.

Pen and ink with pencil drawing, 171 x 146mm, three-quarter-length to left, with hat, at easel, against terrace railings; priv. coll. Repr. Pocock 1970, p.32.[2]

Drawing, 178 x 248mm, three-quarter-length to left, with hat; coll. G.R. Minkoff Inc., 1977. Photograph in NPG SB (Greaves).

Grey wash drawing, half-length to left, with hat; untraced; Bonhams, 17 Mar. 1993 (101, illus.).

Watercolour over pencil on buff paper, half-length to left, head cocked, wearing hat; Ashmolean M., Oxford, WA1957.41.

Crayon and chalk drawing, 229 x 171mm; untraced. Exh. Walter Greaves, 1846–1930, and the Goupil Gallery: Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, Michael Parkin Fine Art, 1984 (57).

Pen and ink sketch; untraced; coll. Michael Herbert (cited Catalogue of Paintings, Birmingham CMAG, 1960, p.65).

By other artistsback to top

Chalk drawing by James McNeill Whistler, head-and-shoulders to right; coll. RISD, Providence, 31.242. Repr. MacDonald 1995, p.150, cat.421.

Two pencil drawings by William Rothenstein:
(a) see NPG 3179.
(b) without hat; untraced; coll. the artist, 1926. See Rothenstein 1926, no.308.

Oil on canvas by William Nicholson, whole-length, standing to left; Manchester AG, 1925.68.

publ. 1928
Pen and ink drawing by Powys Evans; see NPG 4394.

Photographsback to top

Photograph by unidentified photographer, half-length to left, hands on hips, full-face, with hat. Repr. Greaves 1984.

Photograph by unidentified photographer, half-length, seated at table, facing front, with William Nicholson, Augustus John and William Marchant at ‘Les Gourmets’ restaurant. Repr. Greaves 1984.

Photograph by unidentified photographer, whole-length to right, standing beside monument to Carlyle, Cheyne Walk. Repr. Pocock 1970, facing p.129.

Silver bromide prints by London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company, two known poses:
(a) whole-length, three-quarters to left, head facing front, standing at easel with portrait of James McNeill Whistler (half-length, wearing top hat and monocle); priv. coll. Copy print NPG SB (Greaves).
(b) whole-length, profile to left, with William Marchant seated; priv. coll. Repr. Greaves 1984, frontispiece; Maas 1984, p.32.

Photograph by unidentified photographer, half-length to left, facing three-quarters to left, seated, holding palette and brushes in left hand, a paintbrush in right hand; repr. Bookman, Feb. 1912, p.587.

Photograph by unidentified photographer, whole-length, seated to left, at wedding reception; coll. Mrs Josephine Thompson. Repr. Pocock 1970, facing p.145.[3]

1) The date is based on a comparison with Walter Greaves’s etching of Henry Greaves, signed and dated 1871 (repr. Greaves 1984 (158 ill.)).
2) Pocock dates this to the late 1860s but Greaves appears older than this would imply.
3) Greaves blackened his hair until he entered the Charterhouse in 1922 when ‘his hair, which had been unnaturally black, through the offices of the Matron and a cake of soap [...] turned white in a single afternoon’; Rothenstein 1931–2, vol.2, p.376.

Carol Blackett-Ord