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Photograph - John Everett Millais as Dante
  • John Everett Millais as Dante
    David Wilkie Wynfield, born 1837 - died 1887
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John Everett Millais as Dante

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    London, England (photographed)

  • Date:

    1860s (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    David Wilkie Wynfield, born 1837 - died 1887 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    albumen print from wet-collodion glass-plate negative

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Dr Harold G. Hodgson

  • Museum number:

    125-1945

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 842

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This portrait represents the painter John Everett Millais, who is dressed up as Dante. At this date Millais had become fashionable and had left behind many of his Pre-Raphaelite ideals. It is interesting that he still chose to impersonate the great early Renaissance poet who was so important to the Pre-Raphaelites. David Wynfield was a painter of historical genre scenes as well as a photographer. However, he began registering his photographs for copyright purposes from December 1863, which indicates that they too had commercial and artistic significance for him. He was a founder member of the St John's Wood Clique in the early 1860s. Members shared an interest in historical genre and often held fancy-dress gatherings.

Physical description

A hooded person shown to bust looking to viewer's right. On the head is a wreath.

Place of Origin

London, England (photographed)

Date

1860s (photographed)

Artist/maker

David Wilkie Wynfield, born 1837 - died 1887 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

albumen print from wet-collodion glass-plate negative

Dimensions

Height: 21.3 cm, Width: 16.2 cm

Object history note

One of 16 photographs [125 to 136 and 197-1945] of Victorian painters and illustrators, most members of the Royal Academy, in fancy dress, ca. 1860s.
Provenance: By descent to J E Hodgson, Dr Harold Hodgson. Letter, Hodgson to the V&A, Dec 18 1944: "I have included some photographs of artists - contemporaries of my father, in fancy dress that were taken by David Wynfield, an artist, one of the St John's Wood Clique - unfortunately, at this distance can't put names to them all." Records indicate the original gift comprised of 13 photographs. It is not clear if 126a, 136a and 197 were part of the original gift, although the donor's father is included in the additional group.
Note: Wynfield, the great-nephew of the Scottish painter Sir David Wilkie, was a painter of historical genre and a foundling member of the St John's Wood Clique in the early 1860s. Other members of this group included Philip Calderon, William Yeames, John Hodgson and John Philip, who are all represented in this collection of portraits. The Clique members shared an interest in historical genre, and often held fancy dress gatherings. Several of Wynfield's fancy dress portraits of his artist friends are registered in the copyright office, as of December 1863, indicating that he was involved with photography from the earliest days of the Clique's formation. He was the only member of the Clique not elected to the Royal Academy. Stylistically, his work recalls that of Julia Margaret Cameron, with whom he was acquainted.

Descriptive line

Photographic portrait of John Everett Millais as Dante by David Wilkie Wynfield, England, ca. 1864.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Fagence Cooper, Suzanne, Pre Raphaelite Art in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, V&A Publications, 2003. 176p., ill. ISBN I 85177 393 2

Subjects depicted

Dante; Millais, John Everett

Categories

Portraits; Photographs

Collection code

PDP

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Qr_O16472
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