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

Ebenezer Butler Morris; William Wyon

Ebenezer Butler Morris; William Wyon, by Charles Hutton Lear, circa 1845 -NPG 1456(21) - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Ebenezer Butler Morris; William Wyon

by Charles Hutton Lear
circa 1845
3 1/4 in. x 5 1/8 in. (83 mm x 130 mm)
NPG 1456(21)

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed (bottom left): Morris and (lower right): Wyon

This portraitback to top

This drawing was done in the life school of the Royal Academy, where Lear was a student, and was sent by him with an undated letter to his mother (copy in NPG archives, communicated by donor):

'Enclosed he [his father] will find one or two more. The bald head to the right is Wyon of the Mint who executes the dies for the coin of the realm. The other curious head is E. B. Morris. He got the gold medal some years ago, since when he has failed in various attempts to paint historical pictures, and is, as you will read in his face, a disappointed man. I dare say he is talented but some dark spirit has led him into the wrong path & he is far away from where he ought to be. His brow & eye tell you how deeply conscious he is of the fact ... He is a long gaunt unearthly looking creature clad entirely in rusty black ... Contrast these two heads, the sensual contentedness of the one, the dark anxious mental agony of the other.'
Morris won the Royal Academy Gold Medal for painting in 1837 with his 'Horatius Returning from his Victory over the Curiatii'.

Provenanceback to top

The artist; bequeathed to John Elliot, and presented by him, 1907.

Reproductionsback to top

R. L. Ormond, 'Victorian Student's Secret Portraits', Country Life, CXLI (1967), 288-9.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Ormond, Early Victorian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1973, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

View all known portraits for William Wyon


Our channel

View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.

Sit back and watch

Artist and sitter interviews

Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.

Explore behind the scenes

Sleeping Awake

Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.

Hear our story