Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford, styled the Marquess of Tavistock from 1802 to 1839, was a British peer and Whig politician. The son John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford and his first wife Hon. Georgiana Byng, second daughter of George Byng, 4th Viscount Torrington, he was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He entered the House of Commons in 1809, as M.P. for Peterborough and subsequently epresented Bedfordshire until 1832. The following year, he was summoned to the House of Lords as Baron Howland of Streatham. He became a Privy Counsellor in 1846, Knight of the Garter a year later, and Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire in 1859, a post he held until his death. Russell was the elder brother of John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, who was twice Prime Minister of Britain. On 8 August 1808, he married the Hon. Anna Maria Stanhope, daughter of Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Harrington, and had by her a son.
John Jackson was a portraitist of some considerable talent who was unfortunate enough to be practicing at the time of Sir Thomas Lawrence and therefore was forever to be in his shadow. However Lawrence, as President of the Royal Academy, proclaimed in 1827 of Jackson’s portrait of John Flaxman, that it was “a grand achievement of the English school, and a picture which Vandyke might have felt proud to be the author”. This was an accolade indeed having already “astonished” Canova in Rome with his portrait of the sculptor which led to his membership of the Accademia di San Luca, Rome. He established a successful practice in London with artists, professionals and Royalty sitting for him; he was elected to the Royal Academy in 1817 and exhibited regularly throughout his life.
Depicted here as a youthful Marquis, Jackson has caught the character of the sitter with a spontaniety and urgenrcy that underlines the qualites of his draftsmanship. Jackson’s work in both pencil and oil is well represented in London at the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain and in the U.S.A. at Yale.
Gilbert Davis was an American arts publisher who founded the Davis Press and in 1901 established The Applied Arts Book (now known as SchoolArts Magazine) for the progressive teaching of art by promoting “by every legitimate means the progress of sound art instruction and the development of public taste in all matters relating to the applied arts.”