Completed Portraits: British 19th C 81 Is this portrait of Thomas Attwood Walmisley by Richard Bankes Harraden (1778–1862)?

Thomas Attwood Walmisley (1814-1856), Professor of Music
Topic: Artist

This portrait was previously in the Royal Academy of Music and attributed by them to 'Harraden'. Most likely Richard Bankes Harraden (1778–1862) of a Cambridge artistic family, he is buried in Mill Road Cemetery.

The picture was presented to St John's College by Sir Thomas Armstrong, at one time President of the Royal Academy of Music.

For comparison, there is a portrait by Richard Bankes Harraden of John Ray (after Thomas Hudson) at Chelmsford Museums: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/john-ray-16281705-3254

Collection note:

'The owning institution does not hold any further information about this work. We would be very glad to know more about it.'

Peter Todd, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. This portrait of Thomas Attwood Walmisley has been tentatively attributed to his brother Frederick Walmisley (1815–1875). It has been dated c.1848, when Thomas Attwood became a Doctor of Music.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this discussion. To anyone viewing it for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.

80 comments

Barbara Bryant,

The suggestion of Richard Bankes Harraden as the painter of this portrait is unlikely at first glance, but does seem possible. The attribution--a traditional one--was attached to the painting while it was at the Royal Academy of Music (published as such in 1903) and it is listed in ODNB entry on Walmisley, although at the time of publication (2004) it was considered lost. Fortunately it is at St. John's College, Cambridge, as the PCF has made better known.

Harraden is a well-know Cambridge artist. For most of his life, he produced topographical views, many showing the colleges. He needs to be distinguished from his father, Richard Harraden (1756-1838), also a topographical artist and engraver. Unlike his father, Richard Bankes was a painter and, as his revised ODNB entry notes, he was an early member of the Society of Artists in London (founded 1823). To this might be added that Richard Bankes seems to have made an artistic grand tour to Greece in the early 1820s http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/view-of-athens-and-the-acropolis-194598. Yet his career as an oil painter took second place to the business of producing and publishing topographical views which were then engraved, the best known being the compendium Cantabrigia Depicta, as well as individual plates. He testified to a government committee on copyright for engravers in 1818.

Now the question would seem to be how and why did Harraden paint Thomas Walmisley when Harraden was not a portrait painter. Some personal connection could be assumed. The portrait element of painting might be considered tentative but it is also refreshingly informal. The insertion of King's College Chapel in the background suggests Harraden's professional interests as a painter of architecture.

There is also a St. John's connection: Walmisely, who became Professor of Music at the University in 1836, was organist and choirmaster at St. John's College as well as at Trinity. Harradan painted several views of St. John's including a handsome one of New Court, now at Angelsey Abbey (National Trust)http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/new-court-st-johns-college-cambridge-170254.

The young professor died aged several days short of his 42nd birthday. The painting probably dates to c.1850. Even though the collection has no further information, it would be good to confirm that there is nothing on the back of the painting that would point to why the Royal Academy of Music considered it to be by Harraden. Other avenues to look into would be the records at the Royal Academy of Music to determine when and how they acquired this work.

Osmund Bullock,

As you say, Barbara, the Harraden attribution seems surprising at first...but is early enough to warrant respect. The Cambridge connection strengthens the case, of course, and I'd say the nature of the object - a very small panel, unusually framed - is consistent with it being a personal one-off. I'm attaching an image of it as it was in 1903 (since when it's got very dirty!).

My main worry relates to the building behind Walmisley. If Harraden Junr was the artist, one might expect him to have depicted the architecture rather better (or at least no worse) than he did the man: detailed paintings of Cambridge colleges were his forte, after all. But instead it seems very sketchy, almost amateurish. And what building is intended? I really don't think it can be King's College Chapel - apart from anything else, the famous and prominent left and right pinnacles are far too small, whichever end you're looking at. In some ways Great St Mary's Church (from the Market side) is a slightly better match, but in others it’s worse. Ditto Trinity College Chapel – the most logical choice, as Walmisley was physically in residence there. But he had a professional relationship with all three plus St John's (and it can't be the old St John's Chapel - demolished 1860s - either). In truth I don't find any of them convincing as the background building (unless painted by a far lesser architectural artist than Harraden) - see attached images. This does worry me quite a lot: I'm not expecting a perfectly-detailed painting, but surely someone like Harraden would have instinctively got the proportions and angles better even in a sketch?

Does anyone have ideas for any other Cambridge buildings that might be a better match?

Barbara Bryant,

Thanks, Osmund. Much of what you said did occur to me. Why isn't the architecture better portrayed? And I realised King's College Chapel was only a fit that broadly signaled Cambridge. In the early 1850s old St. John's Chapel was still in place before the work of Gilbert Scott transformed that part of the college. The images you send are very helpful in spelling all this out.
And that too is why I asked the collection if we might see/learn more about the physical evidence associated with the painting.
Otherwise, I wonder if we might be looking at another member of the Harradan family. There were at least two generations of artists, perhaps there was another, which might explain why the article in The Musical Times uses the surname only.

Royal Academy of Music,

The portrait of Walmisley, when in the possession of the RAM, was reproduced in The Musical Times on 1st June 1903 (see attached). I will try to find out more about how and when it left the Academy.

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Barbara Bryant,

It would be wonderful to learn more about the time the portrait spent in the Royal Academy of Music and why it left. Sir Thomas Armstrong, Principal of the Royal Academy of Music until 1968, gave it to the Song School at St. John's in 1971. But why? Do keep us posted, Janet, on your investigations.

Jade Audrey King,

I have contacted J. Snowman about this topic, and will pass on any response.

Jade Audrey King,

J. Snowman gives the following response:

'I never heard anything further about it and was not able to find anything internally as to how the portrait left the Academy, alas. Sir Thomas had a very close link with Oxford, however.
...
If I find out anything further, I will let you know.'

Barbara Bryant,

Since this discussion opened in 2015, no new information has come forward about this portrait, so it is probably nearing the point of closure. It's unfortunate not to find a solution as we have an interesting sitter whose musical promise as a composer for choirs was ended by his relatively early death. As the website of the Choir of St.John's College, Cambridge, notes: “Walmisley…was a victim of four o’clock dinners in Hall, and long symposiums in the Combination Room after; and being a somewhat lonely bachelor, the excellent port of the College cellars was, at times, more his master than his servant.”

A few points to note can bring this discussion up to date (although one should read the preceding comments and view the links/attachments):

The proposed artist, Harradan, is known almost exclusively as a landscape and architectural artist, who painted many Cambridge colleges, including St. John's in a painting at Anglesey Abbey (National Trust).
https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/new-court-st-johns-college-cambridge-170254/search/keyword:harraden/page/1/view_as/grid
His works appear to be mainly on canvas.

Although when the panel portrait under discussion was at the RCM, it was thought to be by Harradan, there seems to be no reason for that attribution other than tradition. Certainly nothing on the picture itself. In 2015, Kathryn McKee, the sub-librarian at St.John's, kindly removed the back board but absolutely nothing was revealed that related to painting, such as an inscription or otherwise. There were just "a couple of words indicating which sort of frame to use".

So to consider other portraits of Thomas Attwood Walmisley: there is in fact one by his brother Frederick W. Walmisley (1815-75), an artist, who, on the basis of this engraving after his portrait of John Lodge (Librarian of Cambridge University) exhibited at the RA in 1839, appears to have been more than competent.
https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person/mp123625
Frederick Walmisley trained at the Royal Academy schools and exhibited at the Academy between 1838 and 1868.

Frederick's portrait of his brother was owned by the family and reproduced in MB Foster's book on Anthems and Anthem Composers (1901). See attached. It was also seen at the Victorian Era exhibition in 1897. Although known in 1901, it is now unlocated (presumably still in the family). The NPG has a hand-coloured photo lithograph (attached) of the head and shoulders of Frederick's portrait of Thomas.
https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw41519/Thomas-Attwood-Walmisley

Frederick's oil portrait of his brother may well have a connection to our portrait. The head is in the same sort of position, and the figure oriented in the same way, although the clothes and background differ. So is it possible that the portrait at St. John's is a study for Frederick's more finished, formal portrait of his brother Thomas?

Jacinto Regalado,

It seems highly likely, and certainly plausible, that this picture is by the sitter's brother--sufficiently so for an "attributed to."

Barbara Bryant,

Thank you, Jacinto. I'd be interested to hear other opinions on this matter before closing.

Kieran Owens,

There is a slim possibility that what is a represented here is the original facade of Croydon Parish Church, which was gutted by fire in 1867 and rebuilt by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

Walmisley was the organist there, appointed at the age of 16, between 1830 and 1833. It's modern facade could have been remodelled in a style similar to what had gone before:

https://bit.ly/37o2AYP

It is also possible that Harraden closely copied the original painting by Frederick W. Walmisley, so, without more detailed research, to attach an "attributed to" attribution to the latter would seem a little presumptuous.

Jacinto Regalado,

The collection will decide, of course, but it seems rather more likely that this was painted by the sitter's brother than by a landscape and topographical artist whose one portrait on Art UK is a rather stiffish copy of an 18th century picture. If an attribution to Frederick Walmisley is deemed too strong, then "possibly by Frederick W. Walmisley" could be used.

Howard Jones,

If the painting could be cleaned it might help. While the background architecture is far from precise the portrait itself is much better.

Osmund Bullock,

"Uninformed guessing"? What, like the long posts made by Barbara and me in April 2015, in which possible alternatives were carefully discussed *and illustrated*, most notably the E. end of Great St Mary's Church, with which Walmisley was also closely linked for many years?

I am glad the Collection has belatedly decided to join the discussion, but am surprised at their adamant certainty that the building is Trinity College Chapel. I acknowledged before that circumstantially Trinity was the most likely (yes, we did know he was organist there, as reading the earlier part of this thread would make clear); but I was and remain puzzled that even a rough background painting of the building should be so poor. This raised at least the possibility that Great St Mary's was intended, though it's no more convincing as a representation of that church. See attached comparisons.

So unless the Collection has uncovered new evidence of the circumstances under which the portrait was painted and for whom, I must respectfully disagree that "we know" that Trinity College Chapel is the building in the background. The tracery at the top of the window does look a bit more like Trinity’s, it’s true; and though Trinity’s roof is completely missing, the lack of any sign of the rest of St Mary’s is even more marked. The background trees are also perhaps more likely at Trinity than in the Marketplace. But it’s such a bad depiction of either building that I don’t think one can be sure. Whichever one it’s meant to be, though, it’s clear to me it cannot be by Richard Bankes Harraden – his renowned skill in depicting Cambridge buildings with great accuracy would surely make it unlikely he would get the architectural detail so wrong, even in a sketch?

Osmund Bullock,

Although I think an attribution to the sitter’s brother is quite plausible, Barbara wondered five years ago “if we might be looking at another member of the Harraden family. There were at least two generations of artists, perhaps there was another, which might explain why the article in The Musical Times uses the surname only” (for which see attachment below). That it was said as long ago as 1903 to have been painted “by Harraden” should be taken seriously – this was in the lifetime of people who would have known both sitter and artist. And in fact there *were* in the mid-C19th at least two other artistic Harradens either in or closely connected to Cambridge, both being sons of Richard Bankes Harraden.

The elder was Henry Richard Harraden (1815-1870). He is elusive in the censuses, but when he went bankrupt in 1844 was described as a “printseller, carver, gilder and stationer” of Cambridge; the administration record of his estate, however, records him as an artist. The carver/gilder part, too, is interesting in view of the ornate Rococo-style carved & gilded frame that holds our portrait. The younger was Frederick Harraden (1817-1893), who was actually baptised at Great St Mary’s. He is described in censuses and elsewhere variously as ‘artist’, ‘draughtsman’ or artist / draughtsman ‘on wood’, but seems to have moved to London by 1843 (when his son Frederick Alfred was born). Frederick Junr (also then an artist) married the daughter of a carriage painter in 1864 – a conceivable link there with painting on small panels; and coincidentally (or not?) in 1851 Frederic Senr was living next door to a different (Master) coach painter, one of whose children had been born in Cambridge two years earlier. If our portrait were indeed by Frederick Harraden, one can imagine he might have based the likeness on Frederick Walmisley’s portrait (hence the similarity), and have painted the chapel (or possibly church) from memory.

A final important connection. Richard Bankes Harraden had a third surviving son Samuel (1821-1897), who was an organist, and he trained under...Thomas Attwood Walmisley. See attached obituary. So we have what could well have been quite a significant friendship between Walmisley and the Harradens – and that, coupled with the traditional (1903) attribution, must surely swing things back towards one of the family being the artist.

Barbara Bryant,

We have more to absorb here and it is all welcome. Thanks, Kieran and Osmund (especially for further information on the Harradan family and the wonderful composite of the church facades). I still lean to Walmisley's brother, but let's think a bit further.

Louis, I doubt it would be possible to have the picture cleaned (especially in these straitened times) so we will have to proceed using our own wits.

Kieran Owens,

A member of the Harraden family, one from Cambridge, was a subscriber to Walmisley's "Chants with the Responses...." of 1845:

https://bit.ly/2MQkfz8

Kieran Owens,

An interesting article on Richard Bankes Harraden's life can be read here:

https://bit.ly/30AlM4t

To clarify one point in the text, he died in Cambridge on the 17th November 1862, leaving an estate valued at under £800.

Based on the date of the NPG coloured lithograph, which they put at c.1848, when Walmisley was c.34, Harraden, if definitely born in 1778, would have been 70 years old. He certainly could have still been painting well at this age, though in the 1851 and 1861 census returns, from his address at 18 Regent Street, Cambridge, he is described at 'Retired Artist', aged 65 in the former and aged 80 in the latter.

Harraden is buried Mill Road cemetery, Cambridge, in what would appear now to be a very neglected plot:

http://millroadcemetery.org.uk/harraden-richard-bankes/

Barbara Bryant,

Thank you, Kieran. I do like these well-crafted composites. This one is most helpful and I hope supports my thinking about the artist. Also keep in mind Frederick's finished portrait of his brother. I won't close yet. There may be more to add.

Kieran Owens,

The central coloured lithograph in the above-attached composite shows Walmisley in a lavishly embroidered academic robe of a Doctor of Music from Cambridge. It had previously been owned by Professor John Clarke-Whitfield (1770 - 1836), organist and composer, and was, after Walmisley's death, purchased by Sir William Sterndale Bennett (1816 - 1875), Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge from 1856 and Principal of the Royal Academy of Music from 1866, both positions being held until his death in 1875. The robe can be seen in the 1873 portrait of Bennett by John Everett Millais, prints of which can be found in the British Museum, the NPG and the RAM, amongst other collections:

https://bit.ly/30BEEA0

The degree of Doctor of Music was conferred upon Walmisley in 1848, confirming the estimated dating period of the print, and, by extension, the likely date of this discussion's portrait:

https://bit.ly/3fkMX7j

"A Short Historical Account of the Degrees in Music at Oxford and Cambridge...", by C. F. Abdy Williams, gives the details (attached) of Walmisley's academic career and achievements.

Kieran Owens,

The attached image, from the 1973 "Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers ..." by Highfill, Burnim and Longhand, incorrectly identifies the sitter as Thomas Forbes Warmisley, Thomas Attwood Walmisley's father. However, it does show the full length of the work, albeit by Frederick M. as opposed to Frederick W. Walmisley.

Kieran Owens,

Three Walmisley family portraits were exhibited at the 'Victorian Era Exhibition', which was held at Earl's Court in 1897:

https://bit.ly/2N0DBkV

Barbara Bryant,

Thank, Kieran. You will have seen the full version of Frederick's portrait in the book on Anthems (1901), I attached above. And, yes there were the two other family portraits in the Victorian Era Exhibition of 1897, all lent by A. Walmisley. This was Arthur Walmisley who you will see from the attachment from the same book on Anthems gave permission for the reproduction of Frederick's portrait of Thomas Attwood and must be Arthur Thomas Walmisley (1848-1923) who was a noted civil engineer.

Mark Wilson,

Samuel Harraden's daughter, the pianist and composer Ethel Harraden:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethel_R._Harraden

studied at the RAM, presumably around 1880. So that link between the family and the institution might explain how the portrait got there, perhaps following her father's death in 1897.

There's the possibility of mixing up painter and donor of course, but also that one of the family (maybe Frederick Snr as it's on panel) originally produced it as a copy from Frederick Walmisley's original for his brother as a reminder of his mentor.

That might explain the sketchy portrayal of Trinity behind, rather than the generic (and different) landscape backgrounds in the representations of the FW portrait. It could also explain why non-academic dress was preferred if it was not meant to be the basis of a more formal portrait.

Kieran Owens,

Sorry Barbara, I did not mean to repeat work already done.

Barbara Bryant,

No problem, Kieran. Just trying to keep to new material to move things forward.

If anyone has, or turns up, the second names of Frederick W. Harraden and Frederick W.(?) Walmisley perhaps they could post them here.

The move of the portrait in question from the RAM to St. John's is also odd, not least since Sir Thoams Armstrong (who appears to have presented it to the latter in 1971) is stated to have been President of the former only to 1968 and it had been there since at least 1903.

An explanation that would fit the facts so far known is that it never belonged to the RAM and was perhaps a long term loan, in which Armstrong was at least the agent in helping terminate so it could be given to St John's, if not himself the owner by inheritance through some as yet undiscovered connection (family or otherwise).

Barbara Bryant,

Yes, Pieter, I was interested (long ago) in why this painting left the RAM and we were told they had no information about that (unfortunately), only that Sir Thomas Armstrong had a "very close link to Oxford", which doesn't help in understanding why he gave the work to a Cambridge college. He was in charge of the RAM from 1955 to 1968 and died in 1994. He was clearly a very eminent man but I'm not sure that investigating him will help discovering our artist and I doubt that we will be able to get to the bottom of actual ownership when records are non-existent.

Thanks: the matter is not worth anyone wasting further time on for purposes of this discussion but at least worth noting as 'anomalous'.

There was a similar scenario with the portrait of Sir James Clark Ross by Pickersgill now in the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge, but with inadequate source information on Art UK that has now been improved: that example was explicable and did not become a public discussion. It had been a Ross family loan to the old RN Museum in the Naval college at Greenwich in 1920 but, owing to record confusion, was transferred as its 'property' to NMM ownership in 1936 until the lender's son (solely from old memory as far as I can see) asked about it in 1991. The mistake then became clear and, since he wanted to give it to Cambridge, the loan was recognised, terminated, and it was transferred there. At Greenwich it had largely been in store following NMM acquisition of Stephen Wildman's more dramatic portrait of Ross as a younger man, so that it was a satisfactory conclusion all round.

Barbara Bryant,

He might not as it is not a Burne-Jones discussion!

Your point about further information regarding F. Harraden and F. Walmisley is well taken. And if any examples of their work can be found, it might help.

Osmund Bullock,

Pieter, I can find no evidence, primary or secondary, that either Frederick Walmisley or Frederick Harraden ever had a middle name/initial; and I'm a little concerned lest they wrongly acquire one here. I certainly never suggested Harraden had one, and I'm not sure where Barbara found the 'W' for Walmisley: possibly a misreading or typo...Barbara?

Both Fredericks were christened without one: Walmisley on 26 May 1815 at St Mary, Newington (Surrey) & Harraden on 4 May 1817 at Great St Mary's, Cambridge. And in every subsequent listing for them I can find, whether in official/legal records, church registers, directories or pedigrees by descendants, no middle name or initial is mentioned.

It's now clear that Frederick Harraden had moved to London well before 1843. He was married in June 1836 at St Leonard's Shoreditch (where his uncle James Banks Harraden, a printer. lived), and his daughter Emma was born in March and baptised in April 1837 at St Giles in the Fields. His address was then in Chapel Street (Oxford St), and his trade 'Engraver'. From numerous references it seems pretty certain that he was basically a wood-engraver, and if he ever did experiment with painting (for which there is so far no evidence), it must have been but rarely.

Kieran Owens,

The June 1st 1853 edition of The Art Journal, in its review of the Royal Academy exhibition, includes a mention of the painting "Interview Between Jennie Deans and Queen Caroline at Richmond", by "F. W. Walmisley".

The Musical Standard of 1869 asks "....and also what relation (if any) was F. W. Walmisley, who contributes an anthem, to our late Professor at Cambridge?"

M. B. Foster's 1901 "Anthems and Anthem Composers" credits the reproduction of the portrait of Thomas Atwood Walmisley to "F. W. Walmisley".

Apart from these, there are few if any other references to a middle name or initial for this artist. Boase's brief mention of him notes: "b. 1815; student of R.A. and pupil of H. P. Briggs, R.A.; became paralysed in his legs early in life...".



Osmund Bullock,

Ah yes, I would guess Barbara got it from Foster's 'Anthems...', of which she posted details. I wasn't suggesting, incidentally, that she might have misread it or made a typo, but that her source might have done. The 1853 Art Journal review does indeed attribute the Jennie Deans painting to 'F. W. Walmisley'; however in the relevant RA catalogue he is listed as just 'F. Walmisley' [sic] - and this is how his name also appears in all the RA catalogues and address lists covering his exhibiting 1838-1868.

The 1869 mention in the Musical Standard is in fact a reader's request for information about several unfamiliar composers listed as contributors to a volume of 'Original Sacred Music' that he'd come across. See attached. Even if Frederick Walmisley was involved in music as well as painting, I think it's unlikely to refer to him, nor indeed to his brother Thomas Attwood - it was published in 1826 when he was 11 and Thomas 12. There are numerous references to the volume (compiled by one Alfred Pettet) on the web, but the book itself is not online. However, I can find no other family member with similar initials (see https://bit.ly/3e9OrRz), let alone one distinguished enough circa 1825 to be invited to submit a new musical work; I assume the composer must have been their father Thomas Forbes Walmisley, whose initials somehow got mixed up by the printer.

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Barbara Bryant,

Yes, in Foster's Anthems (1901), the artist is listed as F.W. Walmisley and in the Victorian Era Exhibition of 1897 as listed as F. Walmisley.

Barbara Bryant,

And, in the interests of thoroughness, Frederick Walmisley also exhibited at the British Institution between 1841 and 1867. No middle initial in his name here either.

The other puzzle about Frederick Walmisley is where he was generally working. He began exhibiting from 18 Cowley Street, London, which appears to have been his father's address, but the RA list shows that in 1845 he first sent in work from Rome. From then on most (though not all) of his subjects were Italian landscapes from Venice down to the Naples area, with no further change of RA submission address until 1865, when he was back in Earls Court, London. That was ten years after his previous RA submission in 1855, so he could have been living in Italy for at least ten years (1845-55) or possibly longer given that his BI list shows him continuing to show Italian subjects there from 1858 to 1864, but without any suggestion of living in Italy at all. It only shows the Cowley Street address and, from 1866, his shift to Earls Court.
Common sense suggests he may only have made a long visit to Italy (perhaps a year), which it would have to have been to cover the ground he did, especially if he had personal mobility problems as Boase suggests. But if he had such health issues, perhaps it was a longer residence -though in that case strange that only the RA list mentions it, and with no earlier note of when he came back.

Barbara Bryant,

Pieter, It is good to look further into Walmisley's career but Graves is wrong on the addresses. The actual RA catalogue shows that Walmisley is back at Cowley Street by 1849. My sense is that he was in Rome for a few years then back in London.

Kieran Owens,

The 1841 UK Census lists the family of Thomas Forbes Walmisley, , including the 25-year-old artist, Frederick, as living at 18, Cowley Street, in the parish of St. John the Evangelist, Westminster.

Frederick's 1844 submission to the RA, from Cowley Street, of a scene at Farnese, Rome, is listed as having been painted "on the spot". From 1845 until 1855 his submissions are recorded as having been made from 79, via de Capo le Cose, Rome (even though there are only, in 2020, 58 addresses on that street. House numbers, could, of course, have changed over the intervening years).

The 1845 Post Office Directory shows Frederick Walmisley, artist, and his father, Thomas Forbes Walmisley, Professor of Music, living at this same Cowley Street address.

The 1851 UK Census sees him, aged 35 and single, an "artist (portrait in oil)" still living at the Cowley Street address, alongside his 67-year-old father, a "Professor of Music and Organist", and his unmarried sister Emma M(ary) (31).

Subsequently, the 1861 UK Census, aged 45 and single, an "artist and portrait painter" he is living at the same address with his 77-year-old father, a "Professor of Music", and his two unmarried sisters, Caroline Eliza (48) and Emma Mary (41).

The 1865 Post Office Directory shows him and his father living at 19, Earl's Court Gardens.

In "Papers Read at the Royal Institute of British Architects" (1868/1869 Session), it is mentioned that Frederick had executed a "remarkably good portrait in oil... representing him sitting and sketching" of the English architect Arthur Ashpitel, who, from 1853, lived for some time in Rome.

Frederick's father, Thomas Forbes Walmisley, died, aged 84, on the 23rd July 1866. His probate record, of the following 3rd August, shows him as "late of 18, Cowley Street, Westminster" but as having passed away at 19, Earl's Court Gardens, Brompton, Middlesex, leaving an estate valued at under £1,500. Frederick, his executor, is listed at living at that latter address.

Barbara Bryant,

Further to Walmisley's RA exhibits, here from the invaluable "Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle 1769-2018" we can see that even when in Italy from 1844 to 1846, Walmisley kept his family's home address alongside the one in Rome. By 1847 (not 1849 as I noted earlier), he's back in London at Cowley Street. And it would follow that he could paint his brother after his return since he practiced as a professional portraitist.

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I think Walmisley must have been in Rome from mid/late 1843. His Farnese view 'painted on the spot' was sent in to the Academy show of 1844 by his father from Cowley Street, so Frederick must first have had time to paint it and then to send it back for that purpose in time to face the selection 'hangmen'. Whenever the RA show opened in 1844 it is very unlikely he could have only left London for Italy in January that year to squeeze all that in. It is only in 1845 that his temporary Roman address first appears in Graves, so he may have begun work before finding a long-stay base.

Did he himself also die at Earl's Court Gardens in 1875 or had he moved on by then?

Kieran Owens,

The Cambridge Independent Press, of Saturday 1st January 1876, carried the following death notice:

"Walmisley, December 25th, at 1, Pembroke Terrace, Queen's Road, St. John's Terrace, Frederick Walmisley, second son of the late Thomas Forbes Warmisley, Esq., of Westminster, and brother of the late Dr. Walmisley, of Cambridge, aged 60."

Kieran Owens,

Sorry, that should read St. John's Wood....

Kieran Owens,

Boase records that Walmisley exhibited exhibited 56 pictures in London between 1838 and 1872, namely 21 at the RA (1838 - 1868), 18 at the British Institution (1841 - 1867) and 17 at the Society of British Artists. He painted his parents, siblings and others, including Matilda Baxter.

Kieran Owens,

As well as 18, Cowley Street, Walmisley's address in the 1844 RA catalogue is given as Café Graeco, Rome.

Thanks Kieran. Since you seem to have an SBA exhibitors dictionary to hand could you supply an image of the page(s) or the names/dates of his family portraits shown there and his first year of submission. As far as I'm aware, neither Morris Bradshaw's or the Antique Collectors Club versions are online and current office 'lock-out' deprives me of access to the latter.

Kieran Owens,

Sorry Pieter, that is not something to which I currently have access.

Barbara Bryant,

Pieter, we don't know (yet) if the family portraits were exhibited in the artist's lifetime. In the Victorian Era Exhibition of 1897 (cited several times above--see Kieran's link), two of Frederick Walmisley's portraits were seen--one of Thomas Attwood and one of another brother Henry Beaumont Walmisley (1830--57). The latter's early death in 1857 means that his portrait also had to have been painted before that, as was the one of Thomas Attwood who died in 1856.

Sorry: I misunderstood Kieran's note of 17/6/2020@22:57, as implying he had seen one of the SBA exhibitors lists with the portraits he mentioned on it.

Frederick Walmisley's SBA record is 1840-72: 1840-61, from 18 Cowley Street, three or four works (one title may cover a pair): 1865-66 , three from 19 Earl's Ct Gdns: 1867-71, seven from 43 St John's Wood Terrace, Circus Rd: 1872, two from 1 Pembroke Gdns, St John's Wood. (Given he reportedly died at 1, Pembroke Terrace, Queen's Road, St. John's Terrace, one or other of these is confused in some way.) Total 16 or 17.

Barbara Bryant,

Much progress has been made with this discussion. The portrait of Thomas Attwood Walmisley listed as lost in the ONDB can now be identified as the one at St. John's College, Cambridge. I am recommending that this discussion be closed with an attribution of the portrait to the sitter's brother, Frederick Walmisley. As a recognised artist, Academy-trained, who exhibited in London from the late 1830s to the 1860s, he is the most likely painter of the portrait. Added to this is the visual connection between the painting under discussion and Frederick's other depiction of his brother Thomas Attwood seen at Victorian Era exhibition (no. 32) in 1897 (the work illustrated in Anthems on which the colour lithograph is based--the lithograph, by the way, was given to the NPG by a descendant as recently as 1980). See Kieran's composite comparison at 13/6/2020.

Despite the anecdotal attribution, we've established the painting can hardly be by Richard Bankes Harraden, a skilful topographical artist, drawing master, printmaker and publisher. Information about Harraden's sons from Osmund is interesting but we can surely rule out Henry Richard, the insolvent debtor, who even if he painted a picture here and there was not known primarily as an artist but rather, as Osmund notes, a "print seller, carver, gilder and stationer". With Frederick Harraden, the connections are more tenuous. There is the problem that neither has any artworks that we can look at. The younger Harradens were in the slipstream of their more successful father, Richard Bankes Harraden, a notable figure in Cambridge from the early decades of the 19th century.

Given the elaborate frame that used to be (?still is) on the portrait of Thomas Attwood Walmisley, it might be that Henry Richard Harraden made the frame, and that is how the name Harraden became associated with the portrait, but that is guesswork.

If the collection agrees, this portrait can be listed as attributed to Frederick Walmisley (1815-1875), with a date of c. 1848, when Thomas Attwood took the degree of Doctor of Music. A reference to this discussion will explain how this attribution was made.

Osmund Bullock,

Oh dear, yet another discussion that's about to be torn from my incompetent and very tardy hands... I have recently been in touch with the Walmisley family, and have traced two versions - full-sized and finished ones, that is - of the portrait of TAW by his brother Frederick. One is certainly that exhibited in 1897, lent by the family, but is a more extensive composition, especially in width, than either of the images based on it (i.e. the coloured lithograph and even the illustration in Foster's 'Anthems...') - in fact they both are, but the other less so. I'm attaching some images I've been sent (by different cousins) of both, along with one I found online that enabled me to track down the owners; but they leave something to be desired, especially that of the fuller (presumably prime) version. Unfortunately it's in storage, and all the owner had was a distant shot on his phone (which I've enlarged) - I have been promised a better one when he can get to the store, but it hasn't happened yet. And I don't know the sizes of either version either.

I have to say that even from these images I don't think it likely our little one is a preliminary sketch for it, as suggested previously – it just wouldn't make sense in compositional terms. And although it is hard to assess quality, and I hate to set the cat among the pigeons at this late stage, I'm beginning to doubt that ours is by the same artist (though likely loosely based on it, but aged up a a bit). There is much more that could be said, but if Barbara's view remains basically unchanged, that's fine. I am content to leave it at that, tell Mr Walmisley not to trouble further...and get some badly-needed sleep myself!

Osmund, thank you for contacting the Walmisley family, which Barbara would not have been aware of. If you would like to add more before we close this, please let us know. In any case I’ll leave it at least a week to give you time to consider and perhaps liaise with Barbara.

Barbara Bryant,

Osmund, it is wonderful to see the finished portraits of Thomas Attwood by his brother Frederick which, as we surmised, remain in the family's collection. As to our discussion here on Art D., I don't think I was going so far as to suggest that the portrait here was a sketch for the final version (I asked if it might be and I'd hesitate to say it is); rather, I see this portrait as having a close (but as yet undefined) relation to Frederick's portrait. The most useful way to conclude the discussion is to give a tentative attribution to Frederick, rather than to one of the Harradens: Portrait of Thomas Attwood Walmisley, attributed (?) to Frederick Walmisley, c.1848 (formerly attributed to Richard Bankes Harraden) or if this wording seems better to the collection: (formerly attributed to a member of the Harraden family)

If that does not meet with favour, then as Jacinto suggested: Portrait of Thomas Attwood Walmisley, possibly by Frederick Walmisley, c.1848 (formerly attributed to Richard Bankes Harraden or formerly attributed to a member of the Harraden family).

If we put it in one of these ways, then the names are all searchable in the future. And of course, as always, if any really new evidence comes up about the portrait at St. John's, then the discussion can be reopened.

Osmund Bullock,

Thanks, Barbara - and please forgive my outburst of early yesterday morning, when I was a little 'tired & emotional' after one of my idiotic all-night AD sessions. I think either conclusion is fine, though as you'd expect my preference would be for the less certain end. An alternative might be 'by or after Frederick Walmisley ...etc'; but I am far less experienced in the subtleties of attribution language than you, and completely trust your judgement on the right phrase to use.

As to whether we should hold fire for a week (as suggested by Marion), I can see if the owner can be chivvied into action if you think it worthwhile. What do you think? I may also be able to get approximate sizes for both versions - I've a feeling (but it's no more than that) that the one under glass with a wooden frame may itself be a smaller copy.

Barbara Bryant,

I think you are right about the copy. It looks very hard and precise.
We can leave the discussion for a week but you know why I want to conclude!

Osmund Bullock,

Well, I've emailed *both* my Walmisley owners to see if they can manage any better images and/or measurements and/or any other info they can garner from front or back, and mentioned that we only have a week. But of course it's hard (and I hate) to nag when they have already been so helpful, and when circumstances may make it difficult. We shall see.

Barbara Bryant,

Osmund, as you are delving into this matter with such assiduity, I will add one more piece of information. The Musical Times in December 1956 included an article by Nicholas Temperley on Walmisley's secular music. It had a portrait (attached below). No collection is given but in a footnote he credits Mr. H.E. Walmisley of Firbank, Jordans, Bucks. as the source of a musical manuscript, so it could be that the portrait also came from the same collection. But I don't think that's the case since it looks exactly like the reproduction in Anthems (1901) and might just have been taken from that, so not much help. We thus eagerly await the outcome of your investigations. I do think the portrait of TAW (the one with the period frame) looks a rather nice picture.

1 attachment
Osmund Bullock,

Yes, I'd concluded the Temperley/MT image must have been copied from Foster's 'Anthems...'. Not only is the crop of the painting identical, as you say, but there are identical initials in the bottom left corner - presumably the engraver's signature - and even some tiny flaws in the plate (top left) have been reproduced. See attached comparison.

You'll be happy to hear I'm working on Canon Slade right now...or would be if I wasn't doing this!

1 attachment

This discussion, “Is this portrait of Thomas Attwood Walmisley by Richard Bankes Harraden (1778–1862)?”, attracted seven responses in 2015 and more than 60 this year, with useful inputs by Barbara, Osmund, Pieter and others. Barbara, as then group leader, summarised on 16 and 18 August this year, and suggested closing the discussion. I have nothing to add to her summaries. I now recommend that the discussion is closed along the lines that she suggests, subject to reaction from the collection.

Osmund Bullock,

As previously mentioned and illustrated, I've been in touch with two different branches of the family, and ascertained that they have two versions of the original portrait of T A Walmisley by his brother Frederick. I now have some much better images of one of these (and have seen it in the flesh), but not of the other one that is probably the prime original. I have tried to get (and been promised) some better shots of the latter, which is in store - I've just emailed the owner again, but it may prove impossible under current conditions.

Nevertheless, I think it's worth pausing while I put together my shots of the other one with some relevant comments: whether it be a (?)smaller version by the same artist (it measures 24 x 20 in.), or an early copy by another, it certainly follows it very closely. I believe the images may inform our conclusions about the portrait at St John's College, and I can get it done this week.

Osmund, presumably in the circumstances you haven't been able to get those images of the picture that may be the prime version, but it would be good to see your shots of the other one, please, if you have time now.

Osmund Bullock,

Yes, I'm afraid the owner hasn't replied to my follow-up requests, so I must sadly assume that line of research is now dead. I am quite busy with other things (and like many people finding it quite hard to focus properly at the moment), but I'll try and put together my photos of the other family version with some comments in the next week.

How you fit so much in, Osmund, I don't know. We look forward to your photos of the other versions. When you complete your contribution to this discussion we may be in a position to close it (see my post, 6 December 2020).

This discussion is now six years old. Osmund, your photos would be welcome (your post, 15 January). But if you think that they will not be forthcoming, say in the next week, we already have enough information to close the discussion, as suggested by Barbara, then group leader, last summer.

I recommend that we now close this discussion. As reported above (6 December 2020):

This discussion, “Is this portrait of Thomas Attwood Walmisley by Richard Bankes Harraden (1778–1862)?”, attracted seven responses in 2015 and more than 60 this year [now last year], with useful inputs by Barbara, Osmund, Pieter and others. Barbara, as then group leader, summarised on 16 and 18 August this year, and suggested closing the discussion. I have nothing to add to her summaries. I now recommend that the discussion is closed along the lines that she suggests, subject to reaction from the collection.

Taking Barbara's and other posts, we can use the description: Portrait of Thomas Attwood Walmisley, possibly by Frederick Walmisley, c.1848 (formerly attributed to a member of the Harraden family).

If Osmund's research produces further detailed information, it can be passed directly to the collection.

I think that there has to be a time limit on reactions to recommendations to close discussions. If the collection cannot respond in a timely manner, should the discussion be closed without their input?