by Samuel Laurence
oil on canvas, circa 1864
23 1/2 in. x 19 3/4 in. (597 mm x 502 mm)
Artistback to top
- Samuel Laurence (1812-1884), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 38 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 624
- Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 176 Read entry
Gilt compo on pine, standard Watts frame construction (see NPG 1000), except for the use of keys in the frieze, the gilding of the oak in very good condition. 6 1⁄ 4 inches wide.
The portrait painter Samuel Laurence, best known for his work in chalk, used Watts frames for some of his oil portraits but with the gilt oak flats cut with fluting, perhaps in a search for a novel but inexpensive frame type. A fluted frame can serve to focus the eye on the portrait but here the fluting is primarily decorative, and the fussiness of the frame seems to distract attention both from the portrait and from the grain of the frame's oak flats.
Three portraits by Laurence using this frame style have been traced so far: this one of Anthony Trollope, probably of 1864, but perhaps kept by the artist and framed later, F. D. Maurice of c.1871 (National Portrait Gallery, on loan to King's College, London) and William Bodham Donne (London Library).
- Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 74
Events of 1864back to top
Current affairsFirst of the Contagious Diseases Act. These acts allowed for the arrest, medical inspection and confinement of any woman suspected of being a prostitute in the port towns. Following huge public outcry over their discrimination against women, notably led by Josephine Butler, leader of the Ladies' National Association, the acts were eventually repealed.
Octavia Hill starts work on slums, and the International Working Men's Association is founded in London.
Art and scienceThe Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell presents his discoveries in the field of electromagnetics to the Royal Society. His paper A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field expresses the basic laws of electricity and magnetism in unified fashion. Maxwell's equations, as his rules came to be known, helped create modern physics, laying the foundation for future work in special relativity and quantum mechanics.
InternationalAustria and Prussia combine forces to seize Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark.
Britain cedes Corfu, acquired from France in the Second Treaty of Paris (1815) to Greece. Although Britain had vigorously suppressed an uprising in 1849 in Cephalonia aiming to restore Iolian islands, the government changed policy throughout the 1850s and 60s.
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