John Elliott Burns
John Elliott Burns
by John Collier
oil on canvas, 1889
49 in. x 36 1/4 in. (1245 mm x 921 mm)
Given by the sitter's family, the sitter's family, 1943
Sitterback to top
- John Elliott Burns (1858-1943), Trade unionist and Liberal politician; MP for Battersea. Sitter in 30 portraits.
Artistback to top
- John Collier (1850-1934), Portrait painter and writer on art. Artist associated with 21 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait was painted during the London Dock Strike, when Burns supported the dockers in negotiating better wages and conditions.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 25
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 91
Events of 1889back to top
Current affairsThe London Dock strike takes place resulting in a victory for the dock workers striking over pay and conditions.
Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, allowing legal intervention between children and parents for the first time.
Charles Booth, the English social scientist, publishes the first volume of Life and Labour of the People, an extensive survey into the living conditions of London's East End working class communities.
Art and scienceGeorge Gissing's The Nether World, a dark account of the lives of the urban poor in Clerkenwell, is published. Gissing absorbs the French naturalist style of writers such as Emile Zola to produce a harshly realistic observation of life in London at the end of the nineteenth century.
InternationalThe Eiffel Tower is erected, designed by the French engineer and bridge builder Alexandre Gustave Eiffel for the Paris Exposition. At 300m high, it was the tallest manmade structure in the world at the time.
The Second International organisation is formed at a Congress in Paris by various socialist and labour parties, with the intention of working together for international socialism. It also declared 1 May International Labour Day.