James Wilson (1805-1860) economist and politician
Mezzotintpublished 24 September 1860
- About the work
About the artist
John Watson Gordon, portrait painter, was born in Edinburgh, the son of a Captain in the Royal Artillery. He studied under John Graham, George Watson and Sir Henry Raeburn and added ‘Gordon’ to his surname to distinguish himself from his cousin and uncle (both artists). Gordon was influenced by the work of Raeburn and took over as the leading Scottish portrait painter after Raeburn’s death. In 1826, he became a founding member of the Royal Scottish Academy and, in 1851, a Member of the Royal Academy, London. Many of his sitters were Scottish, but English clients also travelled to Edinburgh to sit for him. He became President of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1850 and was knighted and appointed Royal Limner for Scotland soon afterwards.
Frederick Stacpoole was the son of a lieutenant in the Royal Navy. He was educated in Ghent, Belgium, before entering the Royal Academy Schools, London. Early in his career he abandoned painting for engraving, producing mixed method engravings, which combine etching, line engraving and stipple techniques. He became the leading engraver of his time for his print after Holman Hunt’s ‘The Shadow of Death’, published in 1878. His work was exhibited at the Society of British Artists (1841-45; member from 1841) and the Royal Academy (1841-99; associate member from 1880). During the last ten years of his career, as photomechanical methods of reproduction reduced demand for hand-engraved plates, he returned to painting. He died in Putney, aged 95.