Title-page, apparently unpublished. Thomas Hosmer Shepherd (1793-1864). 1855-59. Wood engraving. © Trustees of the British Museum, Asset number 817919001 in the Crace Collerction, kindly released on the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. It has been lightened to lessen the effects of foxing. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]
This was used very effectively as the cover picture for J. F. C. Phillips's book about Shepherd. Note that the artist depicts himself painting with oils, perhaps reflecting his ambition to win acclaim in that medium, too. On the board on the right is a sign, "Great Britain Illustrated. T.H.S. del London and its Environs," and in front of it is a helmet, suggestive, like the sword on the left, of antiquarian interests. But the artist is seen depicting a scene very much of his own times, of the Thames and St Paul's, with the Monument in the distance. It seems like a stage set, enthrallingly opened to view below a garland of greenery, topped by the City of London arms and a royal crown. It all looks like the kind of diorama that was so popular in the Victorian period. In fact, at the bottom of the engraving, Shepherd's patron Frederick Crace has written in pencil, "A Diorama of London / by T Hosmer Shepherd", and the note "T H Shepherd portrait of himself." The artist himself looks tall, slender, smartly attired, neatly bearded, as he leans eagerly and intently to his task. It is certainly the closest we can get to seeing him. — Jacqueline Banerjee.
Phillips, J.F.C. Shepherd's London. London: Cassell, 1976.
"Print; Title-Page" (Curator's Comment). British Museum. Web. 23 November 2020.
Created 23 November 2020