Collection Online

The crisis
1891

Artist/s name
Medium
oil on canvas
Measurements
122.4 x 158.1 cm
Accession Number
p.396.2-1
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1891
Gallery location
Not on display

Colourmen

Colourman
ROBERSON
Location
Paper label at centre cross braces and stamp in lower left quadrant
Transcription
DRAWING MATERIALS./FROM/CHARLES ROBERSON & CO./99, LONG ACRE, LONDON. Ink stamp reads ..../99, LONG ACRE, LONDON.
Medium
Paper label and ink stamp
More information
National Portrait Gallery

Frame

Frank DICKSEE
The crisis 1891
Framemaker
Smith & Uppard
77 Mortimer Street, Regent Street,
London W
Date
1891
Materials

The frame is made from timber without any use of cast or moulded ornament. It has been built by combining profiled forms and a flat section. The flat is veneered in oak with the corners of each part mitred. It is secured to the deep section of the outer frame with spacer blocks and screws. Screws are also used to secure the flat to the inner sections. The whole surface is water gilded onto a red bole, through to the working edge, though the veneered section appears to be on a white base. The gilding is very highly crafted, the leaf sections being evident only on the oak surface of the flat.

Condition

The surface size layer is deteriorated. Two small sections, broken from the lip of the slip, were repaired in 2002 and the frame was cleaned. The frame is in remarkable condition.

Dimensions
169.0 x 204.0 x 11.0 cm; sight 120.5 x 155.0 cm
Frank DICKSEE
The crisis 1891 Frank DICKSEE
The crisis 1891 (colourman)
About

The frame is labelled on each side of the reverse. The label transcribes as: SMITH & UPPARD (successors to W. A. Smith), CARVERS and GILDERS, 77 Mortimer Street, Regent Street, London, French colours and Brushes.1 The company is one of a line of frame makers associated with the artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. The frame is beautifully crafted and imposing in its scale. Though the form is derived from Pre-Raphaelite and Italian cassetta influences, it is nevertheless bold in its use of such a large scale and fluid form in the outer section.

Note

1 William Augustine Smith (W. A. Smith) took over the business of Joseph Green & Co. in 1872, changing to Smith & Uppard in 1889. This business was in turn acquired by James Bourlet & Sons in 1899. (Jacob Simon, The Art of The Picture Frame, National Portrait Gallery, London, 1996, p 134.) The firm is also known as artists’ colourmen (http://www.npg.org.uk/research/programmes/directory-of-suppliers/s.php). There are two frames by W. A. Smith in the collection – an identical pair, found on the two paintings by G. F. Watts’ Portrait of Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Love and Death (p.312.5-1).