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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Henry Tanworth Wells (1828-1903), Miniature and portrait painter

Doubtful self-portrait
By other artists
Possible portrait

Self-portraitsback to top

Miniature on ivory, 533 x 393mm, signed in monogram ‘H.T.W.’ and dated ‘1859–60’, whole-length to left, standing beside Joanna Mary Wells (née Boyce) who rides a donkey led by a boy; priv. coll. Exh. RA 1860 (‘Portraits’, 875); Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1867 (‘Portraits of Group in Miniature’); RA Winter 1904 (159); and Paintings by Joanna Mary Boyce (Mrs H.T. Wells) 1831–1861, Tate G., London, 1935 (32); ref. Graves 1913–15, vol.4, p.1645 (‘H.T. Wells, R.A., and Mrs. Wells’); and Milner 1912b; repr. Bradbury 2012, pl.I and dustjacket.

Oil on board, 210 x 274mm, preparatory study for Portraits, three-quarter-length, head profile to left, resting on right hand, seated at right of group of four around table; priv. coll. Exh. George Price Boyce, Tate G., London, 1987 (2); repr. Newall & Egerton 1987, no.2; and Bradbury 2012, pl.XLVII between pp.176–7.

Oil on canvas, 1250 x 1612mm, Portraits, signed and dated ‘Henry T. Wells, 1861–2’, three-quarter-length, head profile to left, wearing sideburns, no beard or moustache, resting on right hand, seated at right of group comprising (left to right) John Richard Clayton, George Price Boyce and Joanna Mary Wells around table; Mrs Arthur Street, destroyed in air raid, Bath, 1942.[1] Exh. RA 1862 (4, ‘Portraits – including a portrait of the late Mrs Henry T. Wells’); RA Winter 1904 (130); and Exhibition of Victorian Pictures 1837–1870, Birmingham MAG, 1937 (125); ref. Milner 1912b; repr. Tate 1935, p.4; Sitwell 1936, no.130 facing p.89; Surtees 1980, fig.2 facing p.38; Nunn 1996, p.56, fig.17; and Bradbury 2012, frontispiece (showing frame).

Oil on canvas, signed in monogram and dated at right, head-and-shoulders in feigned oval, three-quarters to right, with silvery hair, beard and moustache; Aberdeen AG, ABDAG003591.

exh. 1882
Oil on canvas, 1282 x 2328mm, Friends at Yewden, signed and dated ‘Henry T. Wells 1882–85’, whole-length, rear view, profile to left, seated on bench at extreme right in group of eight men by Thames, near the home of G.C. Schwabe; Hamburger Kunsthalle, HK-2271 (as ‘Schwabes Freunde in Yewden’). Exh. RA 1882 (261); ref. Hamburg 1886, p.8; repr. Country Life, 8 Feb. 1979, p.345; Morris & Milner 1992, p.11; and
See also Calderon, Hodgson, Yeames.

Oil on canvas, 915 x 711mm, half-length, head three-quarters to left, wearing spectacles, with silvery hair, moustache and beard, left hand holding palette and three thick brushes, wearing grey clothes and standing against brown background; untraced; coll. Mrs Arthur Street, 1912 (?destroyed in air raid, Bath, 1943). Exh. RA 1897 (226, ‘H.T.W.’); and RA Winter 1904 (123); ref. Milner 1912b; repr. Cassell’s RA Pictures 1897, p.159.

Crayon drawing, signed in monogram and dated, head-and-shoulders slightly to left, full-face, right hand to ear; untraced. Executed for Grillion’s Club.[2]
Collotype by The Autotype Company, with facsimile signature; prints colls NPG D20757 and NPG SB (Wells); and BM, London (ref. O’Donoghue 1908–22, vol.4, p.430[1]).

Doubtful self-portraitback to top

Pencil sketch, three-quarter-length, standing to right, right hand in pocket; sketchbook, BM, London, 1995,0401.13.1-22, p.18v (catalogued as a ‘possible’ self-portrait). The head is only sketchy, and a likeness cannot be confirmed.

By other artistsback to top

Pencil drawing by Joanna Mary Wells, head-and-shoulders, profile to left, with sideburns (no beard or moustache), a small figure sliding down bridge of nose; sketchbook, BM, London, 1995,0401.4.1-63, p.2r. Drawn before their marriage (1857).

Pencil drawing by Joanna Mary Wells, dated ‘June 8/52’, head-and-shoulders, profile to left, with sideburns (no beard or moustache); sketchbook, BM, London, 1995,0401.5.1-68, p.55r. Drawn before their marriage.

Pencil drawing by Joanna Mary Wells, head-and-shoulders to right, head resting on left hand on chairback, eyes closed, light moustache and beard; sketchbook, BM, London, 1995,0401.10.1-25, p.2v. Undated but in a part of the sketchbook with drawings dated 1860.

Pencil drawing by Joanna Mary Wells, dated ‘Feb.2.61’, whole-length to right, head in profile (with sideburns), seated in armchair, left leg crossed over right, reading newspaper; sketchbook, BM, London, 1995,0401.10.1-25, p.10r. Repr. Bradbury 2012, p.229.

exh. 1888
Bust by Joseph Edgar Boehm; untraced; coll. Mrs Arthur Street, 1912 (?destroyed in air raid, Bath, 1943). Exh. RA 1888, 1966; ref. Milner 1912b.

Oil on canvas by Henry Jamyn Brooks; see NPG 1833.

Pen and ink drawing by G. Grenville Manton; see NPG 2820.

publ. 1891
Drawing by Herbert Johnson for Prize Day at the Royal Academy of Arts: A Fair Prize Winner, head only, slightly to right, between John Calcott Horsley and Frederick Leighton; untraced. Repr. unknown publication, 12 Dec. 1891; copy Kensington & Chelsea L.
See also Calderon, Horsley, Leighton, P.R. Morris, Stone.

publ. 1902
Pen and ink caricature drawing by (John) Bernard Partridge, A Council at the Royal Academy, head-and-shoulders only, wearing toga, in third row first from right, above George Frederic Watts; untraced. Repr. Punch, 21 May 1902, p.363; and Trippi 2002, p.167, fig.136.
See also Alma-Tadema, Brock, Crane, East, Frampton, Goodall, Herkomer, Orchardson, Poynter, Richmond, Stone, J.H. Thomas, Thornycroft, J.W. Waterhouse, Watts, Whistler.

Possible portraitback to top

Pencil drawing by Joanna Mary Wells, sketch of child on same sheet dated ‘Alice June 23./61/in bed’, head, three-quarters to left, eyes lowered; sketchbook, BM, London, 1995,0401.10.1-25, p.18r.

Photographsback to top

Albumen cartes-de-visite by John Watkins, head-and-shoulders, with beard and moustache, wearing velvet jacket with light trim around round collar, three known poses:
(a) profile to right, vignette; prints colls The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.163.266 and COMWG2008.163.4391; and RA, London, 05/4146.
(b) three-quarters-to left, vignette; RA, London, 03/3686. The photograph is stuck to card printed ‘John & Charles Watkins. Phot.’ John & Charles Watkins succeeded John Watkins at 34 Parliament Street in 1871: the photograph was from existing Watkins stock, fixed to new card.
(c) facing; coll. Eric Sommer, 1986. Copyprint NPG SB (Wells).

publ. 1866
Photograph by John Watkins, head-and-shoulders three-quarters to right, with full beard and moustache and hair parted on left. Repr. as wood engr. by ‘T.S.’ (Thomas Dewell Scott), ILN, 30 June 1866, p.637; and by unidentified engraver, Graphic, 16 July 1870, p.56 (‘Our portrait is taken from a photograph by Mr. John Watkins of Parliament Street’, p.57). John Watkins had a studio in 34 Parliament Street, Westminster 1851–65, so the photograph must have been taken by 1865.

Albumen carte-de-visite by Henry Lenthall, three-quarter-length, standing, looking three-quarters to left; The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.163.265. Exh. Victorian Art World in Photographs, NPG, London, 1984 (5); repr. Maas 1984, p.69, no.126.

Albumen print by David Wilkie Wynfield, head-and-shoulders, almost profile to left; RA, London, 04/13. Repr. Hacking 2000, no.23. Wells is in contemporary clothes, unusually for a Wynfield sitting.

publ. 1878
Woodburytype by Lock & Whitfield, head-and-shoulders, three-quarters to left; prints colls NPG x133410 (uncropped version), NPG Ax17568 (head-and-shoulders in oval); and NPG x134573 (loose copy); The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.163.1093 (uncropped), The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.163.1104 (uncropped) and The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.163.2115; and MEPL, London, 10157682. Repr. Cooper 1876–83, ser.3, 1878, p.21.
This is the prime photographic image for Wells.

publ. 1892
Platinum prints by Ralph Winwood Robinson, two known poses:
(a) whole-length to left, seated in studio, Thorpe Lodge, Campden Hill, London, holding palette and brushes in left hand; prints colls NPG x7400; and RA, London, 06/1030. Repr. Robinson [1892]; and Bradbury 2012, p.292.
(b) whole-length to left, standing, holding palette and brushes in right hand; coll. Mr John Street (Wells’s grandson), 1986; see NPG NoS (H.T. Wells).

Photograph by Elliott & Fry, head only, three-quarters to left.
Drawing by unidentified artist, after photograph by Elliott & Fry, vignetted head; untraced. Repr. ‘The Pictures of 1892’, Pall Mall Gazette ‘Extra’, no.62, 2 May 1892, p.15 (‘Portraits of the RAs and ARAs’).

publ. 1903
Photograph by Elliott & Fry, head-and-shoulders to left in oval, with white hair, beard and moustache, wearing bow tie. Repr. as halftone, ILN, 24 June 1903, p.116 (obits); and Graphic, 24 June 1903, p.114.

1) In 1941 Mrs Street (Wells’s eldest daughter Alice Joanna) planned to bequeath the painting to the NPG. See NPG NoS (H.T. Wells).
2) ‘In 1870 Wells succeeded George Richmond, R.A., as limner to Grillion’s Club, and in this capacity drew crayon portraits of some fifty of its distinguished members, chiefly political, during the following fifty years. Many of these drawings were exhibited; a few were etched by C.W. Sherborn, and the rest were either engraved by C. Holl, J. Brown, J. Stodart, and W. Roffe, or reproduced by autotype.’ Milner 1912b.

Carol Blackett-Ord