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Interior of the church of St Anne, Bruges

Interior of the church of St Anne, Bruges

oil on canvas
122.3 × 183.5 cm
inscribed in beige paint l.r.: David Roberts R. A. 1851.
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1894
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
Not on display

Commissioned by Thomas Jackson, Hampstead, London[1]; his collection, until c. 1860; with Louis Victor Flatou (dealer), London, before 1861[2]; collection of Duncan Dunbar (1804–62), London, until 1862[3]; Trustees of the Estate of Duncan Dunbar, London, 1862–94; included in the Duncan Dunbar estate sale, Christie's, London, 5 May 1894 (Lugt 52574), no. 103[4]; bought by King (possibly an dealer); from where purchased on the advice of Sir George Verdon, for the NGV, 1894.[5]

[1] There is a Thomas Jackson recorded in the 1855 electoral roll as living in Mount Grove House, Hampstead. However, there are several men with this name in this area of London.

[2] Flatou (1820–67) was a Prussian-born London-based art dealer. Very little is known about him as a person or his activities. There is speculation that he was illiterate, as no handwriting sample survive; it appears his wife did most of his correspondence. He died from dropsy (now known as oedema) in 1867. See

[3] Dunbar was a prominent London shipowner. His vessels were used for transporting troops during the Crimean War and also convicts to Australia. Dunbar’s will has been transcribed here by a descendant as part of a talk about him:

[4] Catalogue of the highly important collection of modern pictures formed by Duncan Dunbar, Esq, deceased, of Porchester Terrace…, Christie’s, London, 5 May 1894 (Lugt 52574), accessed

[5] See Register of Inward Correspondence and, Registered inward correspondence, National Gallery of Victoria, 1894, letter no. 1157, held at Public Records Office of Victoria, VPRS 800 and VPRS 805.

Exhibited: Royal Academy, London, 1851, no. 14


Original, by E. M. Foord, London

The frame is labelled E M Foord centre top dating it to the years when the company was managed by the founder, George Foord’s wife Elizabeth. The company became Foord and Dickinson in 1858 and this frame is likely to be contemporary with the painting.1 As such, it is likely to be the earliest English frame by an identifiable maker in the collection and was presumably made for the exhibition of the painting in the Royal Academy, London, in 1851. It is a fine example of the style associated with the painter Thomas Lawrence, who used it for portraits. Here it is adapted to the landscape format. The style appears to make its way to Australia around 1830-40 and is to be found in variant form in the framing of paintings by John Glover, among others.


1 For notes on the transition of the company see Jacob Simon, The Art of the Picture Frame, National Portrait Gallery, London, 1996, p.134.

E. M. Foord
90 Wardour Street, Soho, London

The frame is built on a wooden chassis. The working edge is created by the addition of a wooden section, which is lap-joined to the reverse of the profile, which is in turn mitred. The construction is common in this framing form. Spacer blocks locate the slip. The scotia pattern is particularly well made, the fine composition scrollwork sitting on a hatched background. The leading edge is shaped into the large foliate corner ornaments. The surface is water gilded throughout.


Despite some damage to the corners and the overall accumulation of dirt, the frame is in original condition.

166.0 x 227.5 x 13.0 cm; sight 120.3 x 182.0 cm
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National Portrait Gallery


Location of stamp
Centre reverse of canvas
Ink stamp
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National Portrait Gallery