Completed Portraits: British 18th C, Portraits: British 19th C, East of England and The Midlands: Artists and Subjects 54 More information sought regarding J. Andrews, portraitist of Enoch Wood

STF_STKMG_1954_FA_216
Topic: Subject or sitter

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery believe that this portrait of Enoch Wood, and the portrait of Mrs Enoch Wood (1954.FA.217, see http://tinyurl.com/opcyhrc), are by an artist named J. Andrews. Any further information relating to J. Andrews would be welcomed.

Please note that John Bostock (1808–1872) is recorded as having painted Enoch Wood, however this is a different portrait, undertaken later in Wood's life – a mezzotint, by S. W. Reynolds, of this portrait can be seen on the Staffordshire Past Track website: http://tinyurl.com/ncp2z9t

Jade Audrey King, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

Jade Audrey King,

The artist of this painting has been changed to Henry Room (1802–1850).

This amend will appear on the Your Paintings website by the end of July 2015. Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. To those viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all comments that led to this conclusion.

53 comments

Martin Hopkinson,

What is the reasoning for this attribution to J Andrews?

Is the work signed or is the attribution traditional or supported by documentary evidence?
Enoch Wood was born in 1759 and died in 1840. Judging by his general appearance and style of dress I estimate the portrait dates from between 1825-1830 with the sitter aged 65-70. There is a J. Andrews listed in the S. and K. Morris Catalogue of Birmingham and West Midlands Painters of the Nineteenth Century. He had a Birmingham address and exhibited at the RBSA between 1857-86, all landscapes but this would not rule him out as a possible candidate.

Barbara Bryant,

It would be most helpful if, as Martin and Brendan have already asked, we could have the reasons for the name J. Andrews being attached to this painting as its artist. Is it signed? Name on a label on the back? Traditional attribution? Once we know this, we can move forward. Could the Potteries Museum provide some feedback on this matter? Many thanks.

Tim Williams,

The portraits were presented to the Wedgwood Institute, Burslem by the daughters of Enoch Wood Jnr - at that time both were said to be by 'Andrews'. Both are reproduced in Falkner, Frank. 'The Wood Family of Burslem' (Chapman & Hall, London, 1912) as by 'Andrews'.

My best candidate is John Andrews (1815-1870):
http://www.gorringes.co.uk/asp/fullCatalogue.asp?salelot=LSEPT09+2056+&refno=10174881&saletype;=

see also: 'Portrait of Three Brothers' (Sotheby's London, July 11th 1984); 'Children of the Cooke family' (Sotheby's Billingshurst, Dec 14th 1983)

Of the 4 pictures by John Andrews (dates not stated, but presumably/perhaps the 1815-70 man) on Your Paintings, only two are dated, 1837 and 1853, and - like the Gorringe lot mentioned by Tim Williams - the manner of painting in all looks rather different from the Wood portrait under discussion here (with a suggested c. 1825-30 date based on dress and age of sitter - which would also put that John's age at an improbable 10-15 when it was done). Nor do the other two early/mid 19th c. portraitist Andrews on YP (James and the apparently Scottish D.A. Andrews) look likely.

Tim Williams,

I hadn't seen the four Andrews on your paintings:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/search/painted_by/john-andrews

Whilst I'm not entirely convinced by my suggestion, I've been unable to find another portraitist that matches the name, period etc. The 1815 date of birth (which came from an online art index) is almost certainly incorrect and Andrews must have been born earlier. Graves records 50 portraits by John Andrews the first being exhibited in 1824.

Tim Williams,

Attached are the RA pictures for John Andrews - it doesn't really aid much in the way of an attribution, but it does show that the artist was a relatively prolific portraitist and provides a number of addresses that could help with establishing a correct date of birth from census returns.

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Oliver Perry,

I suspect that Graves has conflated several artists in this list: in some years he gives two addresses for Andrews, and sometimes only gives one address, where the original exhibition catalogues give different addresses for different works. For instance, he doesn't indicate that in 1846, while the portrait of George Hudson is sent from Newcastle , the fruit is sent from 4 George Street, New Kent Road (as are all the other still lifes listed). It seems quite likely that the Hudson portrait was done by the James Andrews who appears with another Newcastle subject on Your Paintings. (I've only been able to check with the original catalogues from 1838-46.)

After 1852 things seem to become a bit clearer. In 1852 and 1853 there are portraits sent from 9, West Street, Walworth Road; but there's also a J. Andrews sending work from 19 Sloane Street. Graves assumes they're the same person, but that doesn't seem entirely logical: why should he send work from two seperate addresses two years running? The artist in Sloane Street may have been James, rather than John, as that's the name given in the British Institution Catalogue for 1851. It may be helpful to discovering more about him that he exhibits a portrait of "John Andrews, Esq., M.P." in 1855.

Osmund Bullock,

This going to be a bit of a marathon post, so I'll split it. In the last few days I've done a fair bit of work on this; but the HMRC self-assessment deadline temporarily waylaid me, and meanwhile others covered some of the ground - all to the good as it simplifies my essay.

The 1912 work referenced by Tim, 'The Wood Family of Burslem', contains much of interest. As well as supporting the attribution of both portraits to 'Andrews' (though nowhere giving his first name or initial), in discussing an experimental tile decorated with a print after *this* portrait of Enoch Wood (i.e. not the Reynolds/Bostock one) it suggests that it shows him "at about the age of 70" - i.e. circa 1829, which accords well with Brendan's estimation of the date, and also my feeling (c1830) about Mrs Wood's style - see https://archive.org/stream/woodfamilyofburs00falk#page/n127/mode/2up ..

The portraits were donated to the Wedgwood Institute (which opened in 1869) by Enoch's grand-daughters - Enoch Jr was his eldest son, and he had four girls born between 1828 & 1842 (as well as 11 sons!). I would anyway think it fair to expect their information about the artist to be correct - but in fact I've found a newspaper article that pretty well clinches it. In the Staffordshire Gazette of 2 Jan 1839 there is a report (attached below) of a tribute to the Rev John Cooper on quitting the curacy of Burslem. As part of this Cooper was asked to sit for his portrait to "an eminent artist", and in the event it was painted by "Mr Andrews of London". The breakfast at which testimonials and presentations were made had a certain N.P. Wood Esq as vice-president (Nicholas Price Wood, a cousin of Enoch's), and in his lengthy reply Cooper talks in terms that bespeak a close relationship with Enoch and two of his sons, Enoch Jr & Edward. Moreover it turns out that a third son of Enoch's, Thomas Horatio, married Cooper's daughter.

So I think we can now agree that the portrait is indeed by an artist called Andrews, that he was probably London-based, and that it dates from circa 1830. In the next instalment I'll try and get to grips with the confusing Mr Andrews - genealogical work has happily now clarified this.

Tim Williams,

Not much to add really, looking forward to Osmund's next installment - in the meantime, these may be useful:

The dates of the 'James Andrews' on Yourpaintings match the exhibition dates for John Andrews given above, so highly likely this is by John or one of the painters Graves lists as John, (if indeed his name is John!):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/reverend-e-moises-57713

There is an engraving after the portrait of Rennie which is listed in the RA works, though I've not been able to find images of the others (apart from Newenham which is on your paintings, though dated a year later).

There are some reviews of the RA pictures in the Art Journal 1855 & 1856 (attached).

This portrait of Napoleon ascribed to J. Andrews gives a D.O.B of about 1795 on the label verso:

http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/attributed-to-j.-andrews,-english,-1795-1856-,-n-16-c-888be063b5

I've just checked Benizet and there's two 19th C. John Andrews listed, the 'second' John is cited as living in Wimbledon exhibiting between 1865-1888. None of the addresses in the RA list seem to correspond to Wimbledon though.

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Oliver Perry,

The painter of the portrait of John Rennie is named as James Andrews in
the "Minutes Of Proceedings Of The Institution Of Civil Engineers" for
1852:

"Two other presents should be particularly mentioned; the first is the
portrait of your past President, Sir John Rennie, painted by Mr. James
Andrews, and offered, by that gentleman, to the Institution."
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=SRQFAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA119&dq;

Osmund Bullock,

A postscript to my last post about the Burslem end of things. On p 261 of John Ward's 'The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent' (pub 1843, but written c1838-9) it is recorded that "Mr. Enoch Wood married, (in December, 1780,) Miss Ann Bourne, of Burslem, who is also still living. The 50th anniversary of their wedding-day was celebrated with great rejoicings by their children and grand-children, at a family jubilee in 1829." See: https://archive.org/stream/boroughstokeupo01wardgoog#page/n303/mode/1up

It seems highly probable that the pair of portraits was commissioned as part of these celebrations in 1829, or in 1830 (the actual year of their golden wedding).

Barbara Bryant,

For a fairly plain portrait, this work has generated a great deal of interest, and that is very satisfying. The common surname of Andrews and lack of a distinctive first name does make searching for the right artist that much more difficult. However in spite of this, progress has been made. To sum up some of the findings: Osmund has added valuable information about the sitters, the family and the dating. And Oliver is surely right that Graves has conflated the various artists named J. Andrews . One of these was an Honorary R.A. so not a professional artist at all--probably the first one who exhibited a landscape in 1825. We can also separate out James Andrews, the botanical artist (see British Museum P&D) who is the obvious candidate for the still lives listed in Graves.
By the 1850s there were 2 J. Andrews exhibiting at the RA, as Oliver has noted. One from West Street Walworth and the other from the Sloane Street address (which first appears in 1852). I think Graves has just slipped up here in his listing by conflating these two. It's clear from the RA catalogue that there were two different artists each sending from their own address in 1852.

Now to extrapolate from the findings above: from the Sloane Street address came accomplished portraits of some noted sitters: John Rennie, Royal physicians and bishops. And, as Oliver notes, the commission for Rennie from the Civil Engineers gives the full name of the artist as James Andrews. So the Sloane Street artist of 1852 onward seems clearly to be James Andrews. But that is in the 1850s, some 20 years or so after the portrait of Enoch Wood and his wife.

There is the possibility that these artists are related. Certainly this is suggested by the fact that the portrait of the Duke of Richmond (RA 1841) is said to be painted by John Andrews and engraved as a mezzotint by James Andrews (see ODNB and NPG Regency Portraits catalogue). And this also tells us that there is a painter named John Andrews with a sufficient reputation by 1841 to be painting a duke.

So it might well be possible to say that the painter of Mr and Mrs Enoch Woods was John Andrews, who was based in London, exhibiting from King Street, Chelsea in 1830, 1831 and 1837. The style of these works tallies with the Sibthorp portraits of 1837/8 which are said to be by John Andrews (http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/reverend-humphrey-waldo-sibthorp-17861865-82075). This would be at an early stage in his career which might account for the solid rather than fluent nature of the poses of his sitters.

Further thinking about which artist was in Newcastle might help untangle these various strands even more.

Oliver Perry,

We have an address for the amateur John Andrews: when he exhibited at the British Institution in 1824 he sent his landscape from 9, Pall Mall: where he was in business as a supplier of military accoutrements.

Incidentally, both the portrait of Rennie, and another by a James Andrews, of Joshua Field, are in the collection of the Institution of Civil Engineers
http://ice-imagelibrary.com/2578231/joshua-field-frs

Osmund Bullock,

In fact, Barbara, it turns out that Graves conflates four different artists in the one entry - possibly a record, even for him - and then for good measure gives a separate entry for one who is in fact the same as one of the others!

I now have a huge amount of evidence clarifying much of this, but I won't have time to write it up properly until tonight or Thursday. For the moment I will just give the basics.

(1) All the evidence points to there being just one portraitist involved here, and his name was without doubt in reality JAMES Andrews: his listing as 'John' is an error, pure and simple. He was born in London c1808, and was also an engraver, usually of his own paintings. He died at Maidenhead (Bray) in May 1875, and unbeknownst to Graves he's also the James Andrews who in 1868 exhibited a portrait (of his son Ernest) at the RA. In between he lived and/or worked in London (Chelsea - 1830s), Chichester (1840>), Carlisle (not yet confirmed), Newcastle & the north east (1842>), and Chelsea again (1851>), before his final move to the Maidenhead area in about 1860. His last known work is, he would be surprised to hear, far and away his most famous today, and made over £150,000 at Sotheby's in Dec 2013 - the little 6 inch high, somewhat sanitized copy he was commissioned by the family to make of Cassandra Austen's rough 1810 sketch of her sister Jane, and which (with the print from it) became the standard published image of the author until the NPG acquired the original. See: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2013/english-literature-history-l13408/lot.283.html

(2) The artist who exhibited watercolours of fruit and flowers at the RA between 1839 & 1846 from 4 George Street, Lambeth (where he is in the 1841 Census), was JOHN Andrews (born c1796-1801). I am at the moment unsure about what became of him thereafter: the last certain trace is an 1848 trade directory listing, still at 4 George St. He's also clearly the mis-read "J. Andreuve" exhibiting in 1841.

(3) The artist who exhibited - I know not what, Graves's list just doesn't make sense, and we need to look at the catalogues - at the RA in the early 1850s from 9 West Street, Lambeth, was JAMES Andrews (c1801-2 - 1876), and the best known of all of them. He was a prolific and much-praised botanical illustrator of numerous published works in the mid-C19th: he seems to have both made the engravings and hand-coloured them. For a while I understandably thought he was the 1839-46 exhibitor - not least because amazingly he, too, lived in George Street, Lambeth in 1841 (recorded as 'artist'), while John's census entry gives his profession as 'painter' (which can often mean just a house-painter). James's later census entries call him a 'print colour master'.

(4) I had thought that the 1825 'honorary exhibitor' might possibly have been the youthful (age 17) James the portraitist. But Oliver's most helpful details of his true identity now rule that out - thanks for the two portraits at the ICE, too.

That, I'm afraid, is the short version. More details will follow, together with good circumstantial reasons for believing that the 'Mr Andrews of London' who (it seems likely) painted the Enoch Woods is indeed James Andrews (1). It would be very helpful, though, if the collection could tell us how (and if) they know the artist is 'J. Andrews', not just 'Andrews'.

Oh, and is there a chance of a higher-res image, please? I fancy I can see (yet again!) something written in the top left of Enoch's portrait. As usual probably nothing there, but have a look at the attached tweaked close-up. I'm also attaching both Andrews pages from Graves's 1905 RA Exhibitors *in full*, though of course it's easily accessible online at Archive.com.

Osmund Bullock,

I have to amend the above. I was right all along, (2) & (3) are the same man - i.e. the 'J. Andrews' who exhibited watercolours of fruit and flowers at the RA between 1839 & 1846 from 4 George Street, Lambeth was indeed James Andrews the well-known floral illustrator who later exhibited from 9 West Street.

The 'painter' John Andrews, in the 1841 Census also of George Street (but the other end) was a red herring, and probably not an artist at all. I was misled by the entry for 'John Andrews, artist' at 4 George St in the PO 1848 trade directory, but this seems to have been an error - in the London Metropolitan Archives catalogue I have found Sun Fire Office insurance records for 'James Andrews, 4 George Street, Dover Road, Southwark, artist and print colourman' in both Dec 1836 & Jan 1840.

But none of this affects the search for the right portrait painter, of which more shortly.

Barbara Bryant,

Yes to the immediate comment above regarding the flower painter and Osmund's points (2,3). I did say earlier "We can also separate out James Andrews, the botanical artist (see British Museum P&D) who is the obvious candidate for the still lives listed in Graves". So he is out of the frame, as is the amateur honorary exhibitor of the 1820s.

Now into the late 1830s, 1840s and 1850s, I don't see how James Andrews and John Andrews can be one in the same, if that is what Osmund is suggesting. The engraving of 1841 is a mezzotint by James after a painting by John, according to the NPG''s published volume on Regency Portraits (information that is also given for the image in the ODNB entry [Charles Gordon-Lennox (1791–1860), by James Andrews (after John Andrews, 1841) ]. So unless this information is incorrect, there are 2 different people under discussion, maybe related, but not the same. And of course there may be other J. Andrews painting portraits at this time.

Osmund Bullock,

Indeed, Oliver. The whole 'John Andrews' business seems to derive entirely from Graves's error - first in his 1884 'A Dictionary of Artists who have Exhibited Works in the Principal London Exhibitions from 1760 to 1880' (see attached), and then in even more confusing detail in his 1905 R.A. 'Dictionary of Contributors and their Work'.

I have been silent for some time while looking at every possible source for any mention of an artist called 'John Andrews', and I can now safely say that, with the probable exception of the amateur exhibiting from Pall Mall in the early 1820s, I have failed to find a single contemporary reference to anyone of that name painting or exhibiting anything of consequence - let alone portraits - during the period in question.

On the other hand I have found many instances of post-Graves attributions to 'John' that on examination are provably actually 'James': the Duke of Richmond, Sir John Rennie, Sir James Clark Bt & William Newnham, to name but four...but also some of the many (22 so far and still counting) dissenting ministers engraved (and usually painted) by Andrews for the Evangelical Magazine between 1832 & 1838. They are often helpfully inscribed "Jas Andrews" or "James Andrews", but sometimes just "Andrews" or "J. Andrews", allowing a cataloguer coming upon one print in isolation to look it up and call it 'John'. The BM generally gets the name 'James' right, but then consistently identifies him as the botanical artist/illustrator. That's why I set out the different artists' details at such length, Barbara - you may understand they're different, but several leading authorities do not! Just for good measure, the BM identifies the artist of one of them as Joseph Andrews, the American engraver who briefly visited England in the mid-1830s!

Another problem is that Andrews himself seems to have always signed (when he did) just 'J. Andrews', again allowing people with a Graves on their shelf enough rope to hang themselves. I'm attaching three examples (two are cropped from photos in the Heinz Archive folder for 'John Andrews', one from the Wellcome Library website). The 1852 Mazzini portrait is rather fine - I'll attach an image later.

So it's a bit of a dog's dinner out there, and the process of 'listing and proving' will only clog up this webpage with screeds and screeds of evidence - I think I'll have to write a short monograph and attach it. I'm already in the process of putting together several illustrated mini-catalogues of his Evangelical Magazine work year-by-year, which I'll attach here in due course. I might add that I suspect that all these non-conformist evangelicals - and I've discovered that James Andrews and both his wives (not at the same time!) were dissenters themselves - may provide the link to the very religious-minded philanthropists of Burslem, like the Wood family. It may also explain how Andrews came to be at Chichester (a known portrait for a local minister with recorded evangelical sympathies). And there he encountered (and painted) a man who I believe changed his life - a splendid doctor called John Forbes (later Sir John), who (probably) introduced him to his friend the Duke of Richmond (63 letters from Forbes in the Goodwood archive); then to his close friend Joseph Brown (Forbes owned Andrews' portrait of him), an influential doctor in the North-East, whither Andrews went to work for several years from 1842; and finally to a number of important medical sitters in London when Andrews returned south in 1850.

More work to do, however, on all of this. I've got several emails out there waiting for replies, though I've already tracked down (but haven't yet seen) the portrait of Dr Forbes, which is still in Chichester. I believe, too, that this unidentified portrait at the Council House in Chichester is in all likelihood the c.1838-40 portrait known to have been painted by Andrews of Forbes's physician colleague at the Infirmary, Joseph McCarogher, who as well as being a doctor was for 54 years a councillor and alderman of Chichester, and four times mayor (first in 1841). It has a lot in common with the two Waldo Sibthorp portraits by 'John Andrews' as you can see - and is identical in size (36x28 in - also the size of Mazzini):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/seated-victorian-gentleman-facing-half-right-with-papers-i69686
http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/reverend-humphrey-waldo-sibthorp-17861865-82075
http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/charles-delaet-waldo-sibthorp-18151861-81911

Andrea Kollmann,

Fascinating information Osmund!
John Forbes' portrait was on the cover of the Journal for Medical Biography (issue November 2014, http://jmb.sagepub.com/content/22/4.toc). Its labeled "John Forbes, MD, as a physician in Chichester (1822–1840). Portrait by a local artist, James Andrews with acknowledgements to the Postgraduate Medical Centre,
St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester." (http://jmb.sagepub.com/content/22/4/local/ed-board.pdf)

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Osmund Bullock,

Now how on earth did you find that, Andrea? Brilliant again! Funnily enough I've just emailed Dr Agnew, the author of the piece (and a great expert on the remarkable John Forbes) - I thought he might have an image of the portrait lurking somewhere, though I hope it's of rather better quality!

Andrea Kollmann,

I stumbled upon it while searching in jstor.
I am looking forward to your next post about the elusive Mr. Andrews!

Barbara Bryant,

Good heavens, Osmund, you have been busy. We must bow to your marshaling of the evidence. I am usually programmed to regard the National Portrait Gallery as correct in its records, but in the case of the engraving of the Duke of Richmond, it is not, as Oliver Perry has shown.

Look forward to hearing more about James Andrews. His connections with the dissenters and non-conformists is interesting (you'll also have seen that he painted the Rev. Isaac Taylor, pub. in the Evangelical Magazine, April 1832). Some of Andrews's early work in the 1830s should be compared to the portrait of Enoch Wood to see if they are stylistically similar. The V&A has an engraving of his portrait of the Rev. Ed. Stallybrass, a missionary in Siberia. There James Andrews's dates are given as 1807-75.

I had also seen the information on Forbes (but thinking it related to a portrait by John not James, ruled it out). Here's more on this doctor:
http://www.hektoeninternational.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=890:pon-portrait-of-sir-john-forbes-frs-1787-1861-as-a-young-man&catid=62&Itemid=435

It is useful to have the details of the James's signature. Might the Potteries Museum take a closer look at their painting and/or send a high-res photo so that we can rule out a signature. James Andrews does seem to have signed much of his work.

Thank you so much for all of this- it is fascinating.
The portraits of Enoch Wood and his wife were originally in the collection of the Wedgwood Institute, Burslem, and became part of the museum’s collections after 1910. They are recorded as having been given by his grand-daughters and as having been painted by ‘Andrews’. This information may have been missed when the PCF cataloguing was done.
The portraits are currently out on loan so unfortunately I cannot check whether they are signed- but I will do so as soon as they return/this becomes possible.
Thank you again for adding so much information to the very little we knew. I will update you with any future findings.

Osmund Bullock,

Good to hear from you, Potteries, even bearing the (not unexpected) news that "Andrews" (rather than "J. Andrews") is all you have by way of artist information. But can I ask again if there are higher-resolution images of the portraits available, either from you or the PCF? There will probably be no amazing revelations, but it will still help with understanding the artist's way with paint - at that time, anyway.

Of course in 1829/30 James Andrews was a very young man - perhaps 22 or 23 - and it would be no surprise if there was a development in his style in the 7 or 8 years before his currently earliest identified works of 1837/38.

Osmund Bullock,

Barbara, that's a good find with a slightly better version of Forbes's portrait. The very helpful people at the Chichester Medical Education Centre have now taken a couple of snaps of it for me, but unfortunately it's behind glass: the results (attached) are both better and worse than what we have, but useful faute de mieux. I'm going down to Chich soon anyway, and while I'm there will try and see it in the flesh (and perhaps get a better pic). If I have time I'll also have a crack at the Duke of Richmond's books of correspondence, which I've discovered include not only the 63 letters from Forbes, but also five from "James Andrews", who may or may not prove to be our man!

Re the Edward Stallybrass print in the V&A collection, I don't seem to be able to find it - or perhaps you have access to a more complete catalogue than I can get online.

Finally here is another and very good image of JA's signature, cropped and tweaked from a v high-res image generously provided by the Institution of Civil Engineers of their 1853 portrait of Joshua Field (in exchange for my info on the artist). I have promised them I won't post the whole thing here; however if anyone feels they really need to view the brushwork perhaps they will let me email parts of it to you via the PCF - but it is much later than the period we are concerned about. Oh, and I am currently seeking confirmation and/or a photo of the form of signature on the 1844 portrait at Gorringes saleroom in 2009 (it was unsold). The cataloguer can't remember if it was also 'J. Andrews' or not, and it's not visible on the higher-res image they've sent, so I've written an email for forwarding on to the vendor.

Barbara Bryant,

Great to see the above link, Tim. This will help Osmund's quest for James Andrews but it also looks like another new attribution of unknown artist's portrait on Art Detective. The style fits the artist we have been looking at in the 1850s, and it has the northern connection, but further confirmation is needed that this portrait of Bolckow is by James Andrews, via a signature, engraving after or some contemporary documentation. Here is that confirmation: History and Topography of the City of York: And the North ... by T. Whellan (1859):
"The Council Chamber is a fine room, in which is a splendid whole length portrait of H. W. F. Bolckow, Esq., of Marton Hall, the first Mayor of the Borough. This fine picture was painted by Mr. J. Andrews, and was presented to the Corporation by...."

The sitter is interesting, not just any mayor, but one with fine art tastes who later built up an important collection of contemporary French and British art.

The artist is called, as ever, J. Andrews.

Osmund Bullock,

I managed to contact the photographer of the flickr feed, Ian Stubbs, a week or two ago. He used to be Assistant Museum Curator at Middlesbrough, and wrote the guide to the Town Hall**. He confirmed that there was plenty of primary evidence in council records (and later catalogues) that Andrews painted Bolckow, though Barbara's find means we thankfully won't have to dig that out. I also found a couple of newspaper articles about the presentation, though with no mention of the artist. It is an interesting commission in that, although Andrews was firmly back in London by 1854, he seems to have continued his contact with the North-East.

I've tracked down (*attached), or we already had images of (and some further info on) a number of later works - *Giuseppe Mazzini (1852 exhib 53), Rennie (1852-53), Joshua Field (1853), Sir James Clark (1853), *Erasmus Wilson (1854), Bolckow (1854) and William Newnham (1856), plus brief Art Journal mentions of George Lance and Miss Field (both 1855). The right Lord Ducie portrait (1852) is proving elusive (people keep showing me the one by Perronet Briggs), and I've done little work on the others.

From the 1840s, we already have on Your Paintings the Rev Moises (exhib Newcastle 1842) and Tim found us the 1844 Gorringes picture (enquiries in hand). To which I can now add Andrews's print of his own portrait of George Hudson (c1845, 'The Railway King' - my newspaper articles file accidentally deleted!), and most interestingly (but undated), the mezzotint after his portrait of the Sunderland physician Joseph Brown, like Sir James Clark a good friend of Andrews's patron John Forbes. As I mentioned before, Brown may be the key to Andrews's move to the North-East. See:
http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/online_science/explore_our_collections/objects/index/smxg-65849 and http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3397494&partId=1&searchText;="joseph+brown"&images=true&page=1

What we really want, though - and what I would be most grateful for - is more on his portraits of the 1830s (and very early 40s), as these may help link us to the Woods at Burslem. Enquiries are in hand into portraits of the Duke of Richmond, of his children (both before May 1840), and a further 1840 full-length of the Duke. Ditto the Chichester portraits of Doctors Forbes & McCarogher. I will next concentrate on the three he exhibited at the RA in 1830, 31 & 37; and try and expand on the circumstances of the two Waldo Sibthorp portraits on Your Paintings (1837/8). The 1838 Rev John Cooper portrait (see an earlier post) could be important, but the sitter's common name will be a hurdle. I have nearly finished the catalogue of Evangelical Magazine portraits (1832-38), but in truth the images, being stipple vignettes after portraits (often, I suspect, not taken ad vivum), don't tell us much of his earlier painting style. We need to see more actual *paintings* of the 30s, or at least detailed mezzotints after them.

[**Ian Stubbs was perplexed to find that almost none of the Middlesbrough Town Hall paintings have artist attributions on Your Paintings. He wrote: "I have emailed the PCF through the BBC Your Paintings website with comments with regard to all of the Middlesbrough Town Hall paintings about the artists that they have not entered....The only one I have not documentary proof of attribution is the portrait of John Vaughan."

The 'Jacky' Vaughan portrait looks particularly fine - see http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/john-vaughan-57804 If someone opens another discussion about it in due course, perhaps we might be able to help...]

Martin Hopkinson,

I wonder if the portrait of John Vaughan mentioned by Osmund could be by Francis Grant

Osmund Bullock,

It certainly looks like it, doesn't it, Martin? But not exhibited at the R.A.; and though I've found newspaper articles about its commissioning (cost £300) and original presentation to the sitter (Jan 1856), and its subsequent presentation to Middlesbrough Council (July-Sept 1879) - both full of admiration for its artistic qualities - nowhere is the artist's name mentioned. I see the NPG Archive holds a list of Grant's sitters compiled by his daughter - a copy of a MS book kept by his wife...but this is way, way off-topic, and we should really leave it for a new thread.

Barbara Bryant,

To recap on an earlier post: the portrait in Middlesbrough Town Hall, now listed as unattributed, http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/henry-william-ferdinand-bolckow-first-mayor-of-middlesbrou57805 should be listed as by "J. Andrews". As Tim Williams first noted this portrait of Henry Bolckow bears a label that it is by J. Andrews. I found a reference to confirm that in History and Topography of the City of York: And the North ... by T. Whellan (1859):
"The Council Chamber is a fine room, in which is a splendid whole length portrait of H. W. F. Bolckow, Esq., of Marton Hall, the first Mayor of the Borough. This fine picture was painted by Mr. J. Andrews, and was presented to the Corporation by...."

Osmund Bullock is pursuing the identity of J. Andrews, but it seems all the evidence points to this artist being named James Andrews. Quite apart from this further line of enquiry, I recommend that the listing in Your Paintings http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/henry-william-ferdinand-bolckow-first-mayor-of-middlesbrou57805 be amended to J. Andrews, pending a further update to James Andrews, when all the evidence is in.




Osmund Bullock,

Barbara, might it not be better to wait until the email I mentioned above recently sent to the PCF by Ian Stubbs, former assistant curator at Middlesbrough, about the artist identities for ALL the Middlesbrough Town Hall portraits (bar one) is digested and discussed with the collection?

In his official research Ian found - and the collection presumably already has - contemporary and later evidence that the artist is James Andrews (not just 'J. Andrews'). I will quote his message to me again, this time in full:

"I have emailed the PCF through the BBC Your Paintings website with comments with regard to all of the Middlesbrough Town Hall paintings about the artists that they have not entered.
The only one I have not documentary proof of attribution is the portrait of John Vaughan.
James Andrews is mentioned as the artist in council minutes etc. exhibition catalogues, and in the insurance valuation of the collection by Phillips. I have written the guide to the town hall in Middlesbrough and regularly led guided tours and fielded enquiries about the collection while I was Assistant Museum Curator."

Osmund Bullock,

Thanks so much - belatedly - for those, Claire. Actually (for once) I *still* think I can see something written at the top left of Enoch's portrait - I'm attaching a tweaked close-up of the area. Any chance of an even higher res image, at least of that corner?

I've found out a good deal more on James Andrews's portrait works and life, including a probable baptism for him (Feb 1808) at an independent chapel in Eastcheap, London; but none of it really helps make the link to the Wood portraits. Having recently become aware that not everyone finds my often long and complex posts *quite* as interesting and useful as I do, I think I'll leave it at that!

In the absence of any other known contemporary artists called Andrews producing good quality portrait work, and the few bits of circumstantial evidence previously described indicating he would have been a likely candidate, I think an attribution to James Andrews (c1807-1875) is reasonable. And similarly I think a date for the portrait of c1829/30, as suggested earlier in the thread, still looks good.

Martin Hopkinson,

It seems to read Mr Wood/182?7 , but someone with keener sight than me might be able to give a more accurate reading

Osmund Bullock,

Andrea, you've done it again: I was so busy looking at my top left "inscription" I failed to look thoroughly elsewhere...and I can read it all too well.

I am 99% certain that what it says, Martin, is not "Mr Wood/1827(?)", but "H Room/1827(?)", possibly with "delt" or "pinx" after the year (but v unclear). The portrait of Mrs Wood seems to be similarly signed bottom left, but is far less legible in the image.

So, the donor grand-daughters' family "knowledge" of the artist was not to be trusted after all! The portraits were painted not by James (or any other) Andrews, but by the better-known and much more straightforward (as far as his records are concerned) HENRY ROOM (1802-1850). Room is a perfect candidate: like Andrews he came from a religious (in fact evangelical non-conformist) family background, and like Andrews many of his portraits were engraved for the Evangelical Magazine - perhaps where the family's confusion arose. But most significantly, at the time (late 1820s) Room was based much closer to Burslem than Andrews seemingly ever got - he was born in Birmingham, and exhibited from there until he moved to London, apparently in the early 1830s. There are 16 of his works, including a self-portrait of the same period, on Your Paintings: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/search/painted_by/henry-room_artists

As well as 15 works at the RA (this is not among them), between 1826 & '48 he exhibited 9 at the British Institution and 15 at the SBA. He was also in 1826-7 a founder member of the Birmingham Society of Artists when it split away from the Soc of Arts. I would guess that these portraits stand a good chance of having been exhibited there.

I'm attaching my own electronically-tweaked version of the signature - I don't think it's significantly clearer than yours, Andrea, but it just gives a slightly different colour perspective. However, to knock this finally on the head: Claire (Potteries), if you *do* have an even higher-res image of the picture - or at least the bottom left corner - you can then get your final 100% definitive answer to both artist and probably exact date too...and then you can delete virtually all of the rubbish I've spouted in the last month or two!

I can safely say that the search for James Andrews, though interesting for its own sake, has been longest and most time-consuming art historical wild goose chase I've ever been on in my life. I think I need to take a sabbatical.

Osmund Bullock,

I don't think I *can* see a similar signature on Mrs Wood's portrait after all, my eyes were playing tricks. So I suppose there is still a faint possibility that while Enoch's portrait is by Room, Mrs W's was done by Andrews a bit later to match. Room would very likely have known Andrews through their extensive work for the Evangelical Magazine, and might have suggested him. Andrews could even have been the slightly older Room's pupil/assistant: it would explain how the Andrews attribution for both came about.

Barbara Bryant,

Well, this is a surprising turn of events. It will take some time to absorb and to test further the possible/probable attribution to Henry Room. Many thanks to Claire at The Potteries Museum, Martin, Andrea and (of course) Osmund.

Martin Hopkinson,

Osmund , you are correct in your interpretation of the inscription - it certainly makes more sense

Thank you so much for this- I never expected this from the initial posting! I will certainly try and find a higher res version of the image (if we have one) so we can be 100% sure but I agree with your interpretation (it looks like 1827 to me too). Thank you again for having shared your research and knowledge- it is much appreciated.

Osmund Bullock,

The reason for the high-res is mainly the date - I remain slightly unsure about the last digit. One might expect the down-stroke of a '7' to slope slightly more to the right, and it's possible it is in fact a vertically-tailed '9' with the top part obscured or lost. The other possibility, 1821, is probably too early.

If you don't have one, when the portrait comes back you could try a snapshot of that corner with a decent-ish digital camera under oblique sunlight (or something as strong) - the sun is incredibly good at digging out obscure detail. And while you're at it, do the DL corner of Mrs Wood, too!

Barbara Bryant,

We have indeed come to a very good conclusion to this long-running discussion, so I recommend that it be closed and thank all concerned. Although there was a prolonged search for the elusive "Andrews", it seems clear this portrait is by Henry Room (1803-50). The error of attributing it to Andrews dated back to early publications, such as Frank Falkner's The Wood Family of Burslem (1912) p. 100 where it is stated that Enoch Wood's grand-daughters gave the portraits of him and his wife to the Wedgewood Institute in Burslem and that the artist was "Andrews".

But thanks to high res images we now know the portrait of Wood bears the signature of Henry Room who died at the age of 47 in 1850. Despite his early death, he had a solid reputation an artist, involved with various societies of artists in Birmingham and well known in London once he moved there around 1830. He exhibited at the Royal Academy mainly between 1826 and 1839, also showing his work at the British Institution and in Birmingham. Room is represented in the ODNB. His close association with the Evangelical Magazine, producing many portraits engraved for that journal, is good evidence of his links with a place like Burslem with its Wesleyan connections. We don't know how or why he came to paint the portrait of Enoch Wood. But Wood was a very significant figure in the pottery industry in Burslem, as well as being a sculptor and a local philanthropist. Room was based in Birmingham in 1827, the likely year of this portrait, still a young artist at the outset of his career. Although the date of 1821 was suggested as one reading of the date, it would seem to be too early for Room. 1827 fits very well.

Room produced a straightforward portrait of Enoch Wood. As an artist, he was certainly capable of more appealing images, as can be seen in his own rather charming self-portrait as a young man http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/self-portrait-33481 or indeed his (admittedly later) commissioned portrait of abolitionist Thomas Clarkson http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/thomas-clarkson-17601846-slavery-abolitionist-and-alumnus139494 (RA 1839; St. John's College, Cambridge). But perhaps his fee for the portrait of Enoch Wood was modest and he painted the work accordingly. Appropriately, the sobriety of the image accords with what is known of Enoch Wood.

Osmund Bullock,

Thanks so much for all that, Barbara - particularly nice to see the comparable signature. I might add that though Henry Room was indeed responsible for many portraits in the Evangelical Magazine during the 1840s (as James Andrews had been in the 1830s), I now find that he also contributed to the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine - which gives us an even closer link to Burslem.

The clear connection of the Woods to Andrews via his 1839 portrait of the Rev John Cooper of Burslem, the family's belief that the artist of Enoch and his wife was 'Andrews', and also a sense that the two portraits don't *quite* hang together as a pair, still leave me with the thought that Mrs Wood may perhaps have been painted by Andrews, not Room. An outside possibility, certainly, but I wonder if it's worth mentioning it in the attribution of her portrait?

Finally, while looking into the work of Henry Room I have found at least one portrait (and possibly a second) that is misattributed to him:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/william-sands-cox-18021875-surgeon-and-co-founder-of-queen34678

Even at low resolution the signature of another little-known C19th artist, J(ames) Pardon, is pretty clear bottom left (below the skull), and a contemporary (1837) newspaper report confirms him as the artist. Should I propose a new discussion to address this?

Barbara Bryant,

Thanks to you too, Osmund, for this further information about Room's connection with the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine which does make the link with Burslem air-tight.

Yes, I suppose Mrs. Wood might be by Andrews. I did not mean to suggest it was by Room; there isn't enough to say this yet. So it should be a separate discussion, although much would depend on further information about Andrews coming forward. I can put this up as a new discussion, as it follows on from the Enoch Wood discussion.

Now, that portrait of William Sands is certainly by the wonderfully named James Canterbury Pardon. Well-spotted. You should set this up as a new discussion, if you like.

Osmund Bullock,

I fear a separate discussion on Ann Wood's portrait is unlikely to turn up any evidence that has not already emerged in the research into her husband's one - and which with regard to James Andrews was entirely circumstantial (and of course quite wrong!) So perhaps we should leave it at that: The Potteries can if they wish also suggest Henry Room as an attribution for hers, but note in their records that Andrews is also possible.

I think I *will* propose a discussion on the William Sands Cox portrait, not least because there is a widespread misconception about James Pardon's name that needs correcting. 'Canterbury' was not his middle name: it was added much later on because of his well-known views of the town (where he lived for some years) - rather like Charles 'Sheep' Jones, who was discussed here in another thread.

Barbara Bryant,

That's interesting about Pardon and certainly worth proposing the discussion just to clarify his name (which on the PCF is James Canterbury Pardon. Most other sources do not include Canterbury).

Jade Audrey King,

Just to note I am in the process of checking the collection happy to accept Barbara's recommendation: that this work is attributed to Henry Room.