Thomas Carlyle painting to be auctioned

September 4, 2013
'Thomas Carlyle looking at the Duke of Buccleuch's miniatures of Cromwell' (1895) by Eyre Crowe ARA

‘Thomas Cromwell looking at the Duke of Buccleuch’s miniatures of Cromwell’ (1895) by Eyre Crowe ARA

An auction house in Melbourne, Australia, is shortly to sell an original oil painting by Eyre Crowe. On 3 December, Leonard Joel Auctions will sell Thomas Carlyle Looking at the Duke of Buccleuch’s Miniatures of Cromwell, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1895. An original label attached to the back of the painting explains that Crowe produced the painting from a sketch made in 1879, when the miniatures were displayed at Burlington House (the home of the Royal Academy).


The painting sold for $AUS 4,200 (£2,330).


Life drawing of a standing female nude (1846)

February 19, 2013
Life drawing of a standing female nude, by Eyre Crowe (1846)

Life drawing of a standing female nude, by Eyre Crowe (1846)

Earlier this month, this pencil and charcoal drawing, Life drawing of a standing female nude (1846) was sold for £1,250 at Bonham’s in Chester. Nude works by Eyre Crowe are very rare indeed. It was probably drawn as part of an organised nude drawing class, either at the Royal Academy Schools (Crowe entered the schools as a probationer in July 1845) or at a private class or art club.

Searching the Royal Academy Collections

February 19, 2013

The Royal Academy’s collection of works of art, books, archives and exhibition catalogues can be searched online. There aren’t many results for Eyre Crowe – just some photographs – but a new series of catalogues of winter and special exhibitions has just been added to the database, and reveals that five of Eyre Crowe’s works were shown in the 1922 exhibition of Works by Recently Deceased Members of the Royal Academy:

Only the first of these works were previously known to me.

Painting of Eyre Crowe’s sister Eugenie Maria Wynne

August 30, 2012
Mrs Eugenie Maria Wynne (c.1850)

Mrs Eugenie Maria Wynne (c.1850) (c) Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Eyre Crowe painted this picture of his sister Eugenie around the time of her wedding to Robert William Wynne. The painting is featured on the BBC – Your Paintings website, which also contains details of 11 other Crowe works owned by public institutions in the UK.

New book featuring Eyre Crowe’s slavery pictures

January 3, 2012

Cover of Maurie D. McInnes, 'Slaves Waiting for Sale' (University of Chicago Press, 2011)Maurie D. McInnes has just published Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade (Chicago University Press, 2011), which is a detailed and lavishly illustrated examination of Eyre Crowe’s picture Slaves Waiting For Sale (1861), as compared with other contemporary artworks relating to slavery in the American South.

Eyre Crowe visited the southern states of America in 1852-1853 and was intrigued and appalled by the slave trade there. His experiences led him to create a series of sketches and paintings intended to further the abolitionist cause. Each of these are described in more detail in the ‘Slavery Pictures’ part of this website.

‘Bob-Cherry’ comes to light

September 27, 2011

The American owner of ‘Bob-Cherry‘ (1871) has very kindly got in touch to let me know that his family has been in possession of the painting since at least the 1940s – probably since its sale in London in 1937. He also sent a photograph of the painting, which tallies almost exactly with the descriptions of the work which appeared in newspaper reviews of the time. Click on the link to find out more about this painting of Bluecoat schoolboys at play.

Centenary of Eyre Crowe’s death

December 13, 2010
Eyre Crowe's grave, Kensal Green Cemetery, 12 December 2010

Eyre Crowe's grave, Kensal Green Cemetery, 12 December 2010

One hundred years ago today, on 12 December 1910, Eyre Crowe died at the age of 86. It seemed to his obituarist in The Times (13 December 1910) that he ‘had long outlived any artistic celebrity that he may once have had’ – that he was a relic of the mid-Victorian age, an artist who had lived so long that he had been virtually forgotten. The journalists who reported his death may indeed have had to look up his achievements. Despite continual participation in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition every year until 1908, it was true that Crowe’s longevity had not been matched by critical and financial success in his latter years.

One hundred years later, it is possible to look back at the full sweep of Crowe’s life and career without prejudice, and to appreciate the artworks created by him, many now regarded as interesting and vivid depictions of prosaic contemporary life, such as slaves waiting to be sold, mill girls on their lunch break, a crush at the theatre door, and men working in an iron foundry.

To commemorate Crowe’s life, I left a cheerful plant next to the grave in which he was buried with his father and nephew, at Kensal Green cemetery in west London.