Edward Gibbon Wakefield

Maker and role
Artist: Abraham Wivell (b.1786, d.1849)
engraver: B. Holl
Publisher: M. Colnaghi
Production date
1826
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Object Detail


Description
Engraving printed in black on a rectangular sheet of cream paper with backing. The print depicts a head and shoulders portrait of Edward Gibbon Wakefield (1796 – 1862). His gaze does not meet the viewer. He has short hair and long sideburns. He wears a double breasted jacket and a high necked collar and necktie that covers his neck up to the chin.

Edward Gibbon Wakefield was a British politician and the driving force behind much of the early colonization of South Australia and New Zealand.

The print is signed, dated and titled "Proof Engraved by B. Holl from a drawing by A. Wivell 1823 in the pofsefsion [sic] of d'an Wakefield esq. London. Published Nov 1st 1826 by M. Colnaghi, 23 Cockspur St".
Object type
Media/materials description
Paper
Media and materials
Measurements
Sheet = 290 h x 202 w Composition = 215 h x 174 w
Measurements
Composition = Height x Width (mm) = 215 x 174mm
Sheet = Height x Width (mm) = 290 x 202mm
Maker biography
Abraham Wivell
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Abraham Wivell (1786-1849) was a British portrait painter, writer and pioneer of fire protection, credited with inventing the first effective fire escape system. After working as a hairdresser, Wivell established himself as a society portrait painter before concentrating his efforts on fire safety measures.
Art[edit]
engraving by Wivell depicting Roger O'Connor holding a crown. O'Connor claimed to be the rightful king of IrelandBorn in Marylebone, London, Wivell was forced to work from an early age after his father died leaving his mother in poverty.[1] He worked on a farm from the age of six, and did various jobs in London as a child. In 1799, he was apprenticed to a wigmaker, which at the time was part of normal hairdressing. After completing his seven year apprenticeship, he set up his own hairdressing salon.[2]
Initially an amateur artist, he advertised his skills by showing portrait miniatures he had painted in his hairdressing shop window. By this means he gained commissions for portrait drawings and paintings, aided by the support of Joseph Nollekens and James Northcote.[3] A drawing he created of Caroline of Brunswick, wife of King George IV, appealed to the queen herself, who gave Wivell a personal sitting. His link to the queen soon helped him achieve fame as an artist. When she was put of trial for adultery in the House of Lords, Wivell sneaked in among the lawyers and made sketches of the leading figures involved.[1] These were published to illustrate the sensational case.[2] The popular feeling in favour of Caroline led to good sales. Wivell later depicted other figures in the news, including Arthur Thistlewood, a leader of the Cato Street conspiracy.
Wivell subsequently became an established society portraitist, painting royalty and aristocracy. He also painted nearly 200 portraits of MPs for a view depicting the House of Commons in session, which was published as a print.[2] Most of Wivell's portraits were highly finished works in pencil, though he did paint some oils and attempted to make some etchings.[1]
After visiting Stratford-upon-Avon to make a study of the tomb sculpture of Shakespeare, Wivell decided to create an illustrated study of all known portraits of the poet. In 1827 Wivell published the work under the title An inquiry into the history, authenticity, & characteristics of the Shakspeare portraits. As well as a collection of prints, the book presented a detailed examination of purported Shakespeare portraits. The book also replied the arguments of an earlier work by James Boaden.[4] Unfortunately, Wivell lost a great deal on money on the venture, as the cost of printing such a richly illustrated work far exceeded the sales.[1] However, he was saved financially by the death of his uncle, Abram Wivell of Camden Town, who left him his house and furniture and an lifetime annuity of £100.[1]
source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Wivell
Subject category
AC number
AC826
Credit line
Abraham Wivell (1786-1849). Edward Gibbon Wakefield, 1826. Lithograph. Nelson Provincial Museum, Bett Loan Collection: AC826

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