Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield (1804-1881) Prime Minister
Mezzotintpublished 15 December 1881
About the work
Place: Department of Health and Social Care, 39 Victoria Street
About the artist
Hubert von Herkomer was born in Waal, Bavaria. In 1857, his family settled in Southampton, England. He later studied at the Department of Science and Art, South Kensington, where he took up illustration. In 1875, he exhibited ‘The Last Muster: Sunday in the Royal Hospital, Chelsea’ at the Royal Academy, to great acclaim. From 1873, he lived with his parents in the village of Bushey, Hertfordshire, later commissioning American architect Henry Hobson Richardson to design ‘Lululaund’, a castle-like residence in Bushey. Herkomer also founded an Art School in Bushey and succeeded Ruskin as Slade Professor of Art at Oxford University from 1885. In 1907, he was knighted. He died at the age of 64 during a trip to Devon.
John Everett Millais studied at the Royal Academy Schools, where he exhibited his first work at the age of 16. While at the Academy he formed lasting friendships with William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Together they founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 and Millais is now widely considered to have been the most accomplished painter of the group. After distancing himself from the Brotherhood to adopt a more popular style, he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1853. From 1860 onwards he produced a succession of works which brought him considerable success and became a fashionable society portraitist. Millais died at the age of 76, just a few months after being appointed President of the Royal Academy.