Francis-William-Wilkin

A Good Discovery

Sometimes discoveries are few and far between and other times they just keep on coming. In the field of British Portraiture the ranks of artists working, particularly during the 18th and 19th centuries, was enormous.  Portraits are something that the British over the centuries had a distinct enthusiasm for. Whether being symbolic statements of power, wealth or political influence, individuals eagerly sought to be recorded from demure to magnificent.

Some of the towering greats such as Sir Thomas Lawrence had many followers and apprentices and after leaving his studio they often went on to achieve significant success, though their names might not now be so familiar. One such artist is Francis William Wilkin (1791-1842). A much over looked draftsman whose drawings are consistently miscatalogued at auction. I have found several in the past as they are distinctive and of great character.

Fortunately another such work has come my way; a find recently wrongly described at an auction. This handsome officer was a Captain in the 7th Queens Own Hussars, fighting under the command of Henry William Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey. Anglesey’s portrait by Wilkin was on the art market a number of years ago and wears the same uniform.  If you want to try and see some more then other examples of his work can be found in country house collections including the Earls Spencer at Althrop and several National Trust properties, including Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk.