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ID number:  BIRBI-40.1
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  British School
Title / Object name:  Portrait of Frederick Walker (1840-1875)
Object type:  Drawing
Culture:  British
Materials:  Red chalk heightened with white on buff paper
Measurements:  496 x 612 mm
Provenance:  Sold at Sotheby's, 28 June 1939 (lot 43); purchased from F.R Meatyard, 1940, for £9.14.0

The artist is standing in his studio, and is seen at three-quarter length, a brush in his right hand, his head turned three-quarters to the right. Behind him, on an easel, is a picture. In front of the easel are a palette, brushes and palette knife.

Notes:  The picture shown on the easel is a study for The Harbour of Refuge, of which the final version is in the Tate (no.1399). Walker was at work on this picture during the first three months of 1872. (J.G. Marks, Life and Letters of Frederick Walker, A.R.A., 1896, pp. 237-42). According to Donato Esposito's research (2014-2017), he believes it depicts Walker, but is not by him. It seems to have been produced for photomechanical reproduction in the contemporary press, likely after 1875 - by who and where is not certain. Esposito suggests listing it as 'British, 19th Century'. It seems to have been based on a well-known photograph by Charles Allen Duval, in a famous sitting that was much reproduced (especially after Walker's death in 1875). However, the large size and finish of the drawing is unusual for drawings that were meant to be photomechanically reproduced.

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