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John Christian

(b Leicester, 1797; d Oxford, Oct 29, 1872).

English publisher and patron. He was one of the earliest patrons of the Pre-Raphaelites, and his bequest of their works to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, is notable among collections formed in the 19th century in that it remains largely intact. (Unless otherwise stated, all works mentioned are in the Ashmolean.) In 1838 Combe became Superintendent of the Clarendon Press at Oxford University, a post he held until his death. Under his management, the Press, hitherto run at a loss, became a source of revenue; Combe’s own substantial share in the profitable business of printing Bibles and prayer books enabled him to acquire a considerable personal fortune. He was a genial, hospitable man of strong religious convictions, a friend and ardent supporter of the Tractarians; John Henry Newman officiated at his marriage in 1840. Combe and his wife Martha (1806–93) were active in many forms of charitable work, and Combe, who edited ...

Article

Oliver Garnett

(b Manchester, Jan 18, 1823; d Bishopstoke, Hants, Aug 12, 1891).

English industrialist, patron, collector and exhibition organizer. Having developed the London businesses of his father, William Fairbairn (1789–1874), the pioneer engineer and manufacturer of industrial machinery, he settled in Manchester in the 1850s and began collecting contemporary paintings. He is particularly associated with William Holman Hunt, whose Awakening Conscience (1853; London, Tate) Fairbairn bought from the artist in 1854, although he requested that the woman’s apparently anguished expression be repainted. Hunt was also persuaded to modify The Scapegoat (1854; Port Sunlight, Lady Lever A.G.). In 1864, Fairbairn commissioned Hunt to paint the Children’s Holiday (1864; Torre Abbey, Torbay, Devon), a group portrait of the Fairbairn family taking tea in a landscape setting. In 1873 he negotiated the sale of the Shadow of Death (1870–3; Manchester, C.A.G.) to Thos Agnew & Son’s.

Otherwise Fairbairn preferred landscapes and historical genre scenes in a precise Pre-Raphaelite style, for instance ...

Article

Oliver Garnett

(b Glasgow, Aug 1817; d Oakdene, nr Guildford, Surrey, July 16, 1885).

Scottish merchant, politician, patron and collector. Suspicious of connoisseurship but open to the advice of Edward Burne-Jones, from the 1860s he assembled a large collection of early Italian paintings, often bought cheaply on his frequent trips to Italy. Among his more important pictures were Giotto’s Salvator Mundi from the Rimini Crucifix (Surrey, priv. col.), Carlo Crivelli’s Virgin and Child Enthroned (New York, Met.) and Pesellino’s Virgin and Child with St John (Toledo, OH, Mus. A.). He was fond of unusual mythological subjects (e.g. Piero di Cosimo’s Discovery of Vulcan; Hartford, CT, Wadsworth Atheneum) and late 15th- and early 16th-century Venetian works, particularly from the circle of Giovanni Bellini. He readily bought minor pieces that appealed to his deep religious faith (he was a Presbyterian), but showed no interest in collecting drawings and little in non-Italian Old Masters; Claude Lorrain’s Landscape with Parnassus (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.) is a notable exception. A generous lender to the South Kensington Museum and the Royal Academy winter exhibitions, he was appointed a trustee of the National Gallery in ...

Article

Dianne Sachko Macleod

(b Alston, Cumb., Nov 25, 1820; d Gateshead, Co. Durham, Aug 9, 1895).

English businessman, collector and patron. He was a self-made man who became an important patron in the Victorian period, distinguished by his early appreciation of Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic Movement painters. He began working for a lead-manufacturing firm in Newcastle at the age of 15 and studied chemistry and metallurgy in his spare time. He became managing director of the firm, earning enough money to form a significant collection of modern paintings.

Leathart initially collected works of the English landscape school by such artists as David Cox and John Varley. He later sold many of these in order to purchase works by the Pre-Raphaelites. When he first began to collect he sometimes relied on the advice of the dealer Thomas Agnew. Later on he usually purchased or commissioned works, such as the replica of Ford Madox Brown’s Work (1863; Birmingham, Mus. & A.G.), directly from the artists he befriended. He also consulted the painter ...

Article

Katharine A. Lochnan

(b Liverpool, 1831; d London, Jan 4, 1892).

English shipping magnate and collector. Hired as an apprentice by the Liverpool shipping firm of Bibby, Sons & Co., he rose rapidly through the ranks, buying out the firm in 1872. He became a major patron of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, buying from 1867 such works as Lady Lilith (1868; Wilmington, DE A. Mus.) and La Pia de’ Tolomei (1868–80; Lawrence, U. KS, Spencer Mus. A.). Leyland liked musical subjects and he ensured that his purchases accorded in mood and size with one another or with his existing decorative scheme. Under Rossetti’s guidance he built up an extraordinary collection of Italian Renaissance pictures, including works by Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Sandro Botticelli (the Casa Pucci series; Madrid, Prado) and Carlo Crivelli. He also bought such works by Edward Burne-Jones as the Wine of Circe (1863–9; priv. col., see The Pre-Raphaelites, exh. cat., London, Tate, 1984, p. 304).

Rossetti introduced Leyland to ...

Article

(b Sept 30, 1849; d London, Jan 25, 1919).

English painter, draughtsman and collector. He came from a poor family and worked for most of his youth in an engineer’s office in London. When he was in his teens he attracted the attention of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Philip Webb and William Morris and became an assistant in the studios of Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones and G. F. Watts. He transferred Burne-Jones’s cartoons on to glass for Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (from 1875 Morris & Co.) and executed designs for Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862) and Morris’s The Earthly Paradise (1868–70). He went to Italy to copy Old Master paintings for Ruskin, who described him as ‘a heaven-born copyist’ (examples, after Carpaccio and Botticelli, Sheffield, Ruskin Gal. Col. Guild of St George). In 1867 he began exhibiting at the Royal Academy, London, and after 1877 at the Grosvenor Gallery, London. His paintings (e.g. ...

Article

Alasdair A. Auld

[Noël]

(b Dunfermline, Fife, 1821; d Edinburgh, Dec 25, 1901).

Scottish painter, illustrator, sculptor and collector. From his earliest years he drew avidly, seeking inspiration from ancient history, the Bible and from tales of romance and legend. His father was a keen antiquarian, and his habit of collecting items of historical interest and artistic merit was inherited by his son who amassed a collection, which included arms and armour, now in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. He used items from the collection in a large number of his paintings such as ‘I wonder who lived in there?’ (1867; Mrs Eva Noël Findlay priv. col.), the Fairy Raid (1867; Glasgow A.G. & Mus.), In die Malo (1881) and Oskold and the Ellé Maids (1874). After three years as head designer in one of the biggest sewn-muslin factories in Paisley, Strathclyde, Paton went to London in 1842. Although he did not take a studentship at the Royal Academy Schools, it was there that he met John Everett Millais, and they became lifelong friends. He won prizes in the Westminster Hall competitions in ...

Article

Dinah Birch

(b London, Feb 8, 1819; d Brantwood, Cumbria, Jan 20, 1900).

English writer, draughtsman, painter and collector. He was one of the most influential voices in the art world of the 19th century. His early writings, eloquent in their advocation of J(oseph) M(allord) W(illiam) Turner and Pre-Raphaelitism and their enthusiasm for medieval Gothic, had a major impact on contemporary views of painting and architecture. His later and more controversial works focused attention on the relation between art and politics and were bitter in their condemnation of what he saw as the mechanistic materialism of his age.

Ruskin was the only child of prosperous Scottish parents living in London: his father was a wine merchant, his mother a spirited Evangelical devoted to her husband and son. Ruskin had a sequestered but happy childhood. He became an accomplished draughtsman (taught by Copley Fielding and James Duffield Harding) and acquired, through engravings encountered in Samuel Rogers’s poem Italy (1830), an early enthusiasm for Turner’s art. He was also an eager student of natural science, particularly geology. He travelled with his parents, seeing Venice for the first time in ...

Article

Jenny Elkan

(b London, Feb 21, 1830; d Croydon, Surrey, Dec 20, 1916).

English painter, writer and collector. He first studied at F. S. Cary’s academy and in 1848 entered the Royal Academy Schools, London. He is also thought to have trained in Paris at some time in the late 1840s or early 1850s, first in Charles Gleyre’s atelier and subsequently at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He specialized in portraits of literary figures and scenes from the lives of past writers, as in Dr Johnson at Cave’s, the Publisher (1854; untraced). His first great success was the Death of Chatterton (London, Tate), which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1856. The impoverished late 18th-century poet Thomas Chatterton, who while still in his teens had poisoned himself in despair, was a romantic hero for many young and struggling artists in Wallis’s day. He depicted the poet dead in his London garret, the floor strewn with torn fragments of manuscript and, tellingly, an empty phial near his hand. The painting was universally praised, not least by John Ruskin who described it as ‘faultless and wonderful’, advising visitors to ‘examine it well, inch by inch’. Although Wallis was only loosely connected with the Pre-Raphaelite movement, his method and style in ...