JW Waterhouse "self portrait" reattributed in National Portrait Gallery online catalogue

By Culture24 Reporter | 09 July 2012
a portrait of a bearded man with short hair
John William Waterhouse by William Logsdail. Oil on board (circa 1887)© Bridgeman Art Library www.bridgemanart.com
The National Portrait Gallery has used its recently launched online catalogue of Later Victorian Portraits to reveal some new research on one of its latest acquisitions; a rare portrait of the painter JW Waterhouse.

The little known study of the painter of the highly popular The Lady of Shalott is one of hundreds of portraits from the later Victorian era fully catalogued for the first time by gallery researchers who have confirmed the "self portrait" of Waterhouse is actually the work of William Logsdail.

Acquired at auction in May 2011, the attribution was questioned as long ago as 2012 by Waterhouse expert Dr Peter Trippi who realised the portrait was similar to other sketches made for Logsdail’s great cityscape, The Bank and Royal Exchange, 1887.

Logsdail and Waterhouse were studio neighbours in the Primrose Hill Studios, which were built in a Mews of Regent’s Park in 1877, and it is well recorded that Logsdail used several members of the Waterhouse family as models for people in the painting.

A close analysis of the use of paint, including pallet and brush techniques together with research from sources held by the NPG, has now confirmed the provenance of the painting as a Logsdail.

The portrait can be seen online together with 145 portraits including of Victorian artworld luminaries John Ruskin, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Walter Crane and Frederick Lord Leighton.

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