- Extended Catalogue Entry
by John Wood
oil on canvas, 1845
17 3/8 in. x 14 in. (442 mm x 356 mm)
Given by the sitter's widow, 1882
Sitterback to top
- John Britton (1771-1857), Antiquary and topographer. Sitter in 3 portraits, Artist associated with 6 portraits.
Artistback to top
- John Wood (1801-1870), History and portrait painter. Artist associated with 15 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The antiquary and topographer John Britton was one of the leading figures in the neo-Gothic revival. In this portrait by John Wood, Britton is surrounded by objects which refer to his interests. On the table are busts of Shakespeare and the famous antiquarian William Camden taken from their funeral monuments. The plans on Britton's desk are of Stonehenge, a subject on which he had written an essay in 1842. The model of a monument which is under glass is yet to be identified. The chair is reminiscent of the designs of A.W.N. Pugin with whom Britton collaborated on several books. An engraved version of this portrait was used as the frontispiece to Britton's Autobiography of 1850.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Ormond, Richard, Early Victorian Portraits, 1973, p. 56
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 78
Events of 1845back to top
Current affairsCardinal Newman converts to Roman Catholicism. A leader of the Oxford movement , growing in influence since the 1820s, Newman had raised doubts about the authority of the Anglican church.
Ralph Etwall, MP for Andover, demands an inquiry into the administration of the Andover workhouse, which leads to the abolition of the Poor Law Commission, and resolution of Parliament to improve workhouse conditions.
Art and scienceThe American poet, short story writer, critic and leader of the American Romantic movement, Edgar Allan Poe, publishes his narrative poem 'The Raven'. The poem is a supernatural tale of a mysterious talking raven's visit to a distraught lover, who descends into madness, and explores themes of self-torture and obsession.
The reconstruction of Trafalgar Square, by architects John Nash and Sir Charles Barry, is completed.
InternationalSir John Franklin's expedition in search of the North-West passage, the sea route linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Franklin took two ships, the Erebus and the Terror, and a crew of 129 men made up Royal Navy officers. The crew never returned. Search parties sent out years later discovered the ships had got stuck in frozen waters, and that all the men had died.
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