The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Frederick Walker (1840-1875), Painter and illustrator

Painter; born 26 May 1840, in London, grandson of artist William Walker. Trained in architect’s office 1855, at Leigh’s Academy 1857 and Royal Academy Schools 1858, then with engraver Josiah Wood Whymper 1858–9; joined the Langham Artists’ Society 1859 and made his mark as an illustrator, contributing to publications including Once a Week and Cornhill Magazine, where his popular drawings for Thackeray’s The Adventures of Philip appeared; [1] subsequently established a reputation as a watercolourist and oil painter of contemporary subjects, notable for their lyrical and poetic feeling and dealing with narrative and social realist themes; [2] member of the Old Watercolour Society from 1864, exhibited at the RA during the 1860s and elected ARA 1871; his twin sister married the brother of Henry Stacy Marks; other close friends included (Myles) Birket Foster, W.Q. Orchardson, William Agnew, John Everett Millais and John William North; his early death on 4 June 1875, in Perthshire, helped to perpetuate the legend of youthful genius cut short. [3]

He was described by George Du Maurier as ‘small and slight, though beautifully made, with tiny hands and feet’. [4] Walker was a vivid and engaging personality and a sportsman, especially keen on hunting and fishing.

Magdalene Keaney

Footnotesback to top

1) Newall 2004e.
2) Philip V. Allingham.
3) The Times, 8 June 1875 (obit.).
4) Du Maurier 1895, p.219.

Referencesback to top

Agnew 1967
Agnew, G., Agnew’s 1817–1967, London, 1967.

Alexander 1927–8
Alexander, H., ‘John William North’, Old Water-Colour Society’s Club, vol.5, 1927–8.

Du Maurier 1951
Du Maurier, D., ed., The Young George Du Maurier: A Selection of his Letters 1860–67, London, 1951.

Du Maurier 1895
Du Maurier, G., Trilby: A Novel, London, 1895.

Garner 1973
Garner, M.A.K., ‘David Wynfield, Painter and Photographer’, Apollo, February 1973, pp.156–9.

Hacking 2000
Hacking, J., Princes of Victorian Bohemia: Photographs by David Wilkie Wynfield, exh. cat., NPG, London, 2000.

Marks 1894
Marks, H.S., Pen & Pencil Sketches, 2 vols, London, 1894.

Marks 1896
Marks, J.G., Life and Letters of Frederick Walker, A.R.A., London and New York, 1896.

Newall 2004e
Newall, C., ‘Walker, Frederick (1840–1875)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.

Smith 1927
Smith, M.H.S Art and Anecdote: Recollections of William Frederick Yeames R.A, His Life and His Friends, London, 1927.

Walkley 1994
Walkley, G., Artists’ Houses in London 1764–1914, Aldershot, 1994.