KEATS, JOHN (1795-1821, poet) PORTRAIT BY FREDERICK HOLLYER (1837-1933) [? AFTER JOSEPH SEVERN'S DAU
Lot 86
KEATS, JOHN (1795-1821, poet) PORTRAIT BY FREDERICK HOLLYER (1837-1933) POSSIBLY AFTER JOSEPH SEVERN'S DAUGHTER, ANN MARY NEWTON (1832-1866),
Sold for £3,120 (US$ 4,888) inc. premium

Lot Details
KEATS, JOHN (1795-1821, poet)
PORTRAIT BY FREDERICK HOLLYER (1837-1933) POSSIBLY AFTER JOSEPH SEVERN'S DAUGHTER, ANN MARY NEWTON (1832-1866),
photograph, platinotype, head and shoulders, reading a book held in his hand, inscribed in the field 'John Keats', 5¾ x 4¾ in (14.66 x 12.1 cm).

Footnotes

  • EXHIBITED: British Library Millennium Exhibition Chapter and Verse: 1000 years of English Literature, 2000.

    This portrait came in a sugar-paper wrapper, still present, inscribed in pencil 'Portrait of Keats given me by Mrs Severn.' It is reproduced by Donald Parson, Portraits of Keats, 1954, where he attributes the original to Severn's daughter, Ann Mary Newton, who studied under George Richmond. The original is stated by Parson to be in the possession of Colonel Claude Furneaux, who was Ann Mary Newton's nephew. Ann Mary loved Keats's poetry and was given a gold brooch for a wedding present partly made up of Keats's hair. Joseph Severn was, of course, famous for his posthumous portraits of his great friend Keats.

    'A platinotype is a type of photograph made by a process derived from that invented by William Willis in 1873, but perfected to the degree of facsimile by Frederick Hollyer when photographing drawings. The paper was impregnated (not coated as it the usual case) with light sensitive compounds of iron. After exposure through a negative, a fine layer of platinum was deposited on the exposed areas by means of a chemical reaction. The temperature when the reaction took place determined the colour of the image. Cold, the colour is a soft, rich dove grey. Hot and the image tended towards sepia. Hollyer was able to achieve such fine control of the whole process that some of his planotypes are almost indistinguishable from drawings' (Maas Gallery). See note on Hollyer at the end of the catalogue.
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