- Extended Catalogue Entry
by Herbert Watkins
albumen print, late 1850s
4 in. x 6 3/4 in. (102 mm x 170 mm)
Artistback to top
- (George) Herbert Watkins (1828-1916), Photographer. Artist associated with 260 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Born in Scotland, Thomas Faed studied at the School of Design in Edinburgh and came to London in the early 1850s. Between 1856-65 he lived in St John's Wood; he then moved to Campden Hill in Kensington, another district popular with artists. Faed enjoyed an immensely successful career as a painter of Scottish peasant life, exhibiting works with titles such as The Mitherless Bairn (1855) and The Last of the Clan (1865). This photographic portrait of him at work on a painting is unlikely to have been taken in Faed's studio; instead, it is likely that Watkins arranged a number of props to create the effect of an artist's studio.
Linked publicationsback to top
Events of 1857back to top
Current affairsPalmerston passes the Matrimonial Causes Act in the face of parliamentary opposition. The act establishes divorce courts, although women, unlike men, are not allowed to sue for divorce on the grounds of adultery.
The Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition is held, a follow-up to the Great Exhibition of 1851, although highlighting Britain's private art collections rather than industry and technology. More than 1.3 million people visit the event.
Art and scienceElizabeth Gaskell publishes The Life of Charlotte Brontë, a year after the author's death. The controversial biography consolidates the myth of the Brontë sisters as isolated geniuses living in remote Yorkshire.
Illustrator George Scharf becomes the first Secretary of the National Portrait Gallery, overseeing the collection's growth and its several moves around London before a permanent home is established in 1896, the year after Scharf's death.