Portrait of Richard Ansdell in fancy dress

1860s (photographed)
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F
Place Of Origin

With photograph of the sitter's autograph pasted below; mounted on card printed with toned border.

object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
albumen print from wet-collodion glass-plate negative
Brief Description
19thC; Wynfield D W, Portrait of Richard Ansdell
Physical Description
With photograph of the sitter's autograph pasted below; mounted on card printed with toned border.
Object history
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.

Note: The Royal Academy has another print from the same sitting (probably the same negative) measuring 20.5 x 16.3 cm, mounted on Bristol Board. Another print from the same negative is in the National Portrait Gallery. Ansdell painted animal and sporting scenes, sometimes collaborating with John Philip, who also sat for Wynfield.
Accession Number

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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