Henry Wallis


Physical Description

Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 622 x 933 mm
Signature: HWallis
Date on Image: 1856
Note: The artist's name and date are inscribed in the lower right corner.

Production Description

Production Date: 1855-1856
Exhibition History: R.A., 1856 (no.352); Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition, 1857; Leeds, 1868
Model: George Meredith
Note: Meredith modelled for the figure of Chatterton.


Current Location: Tate Britain
Catalog Number: N01685
Archival History: Sold to Augustus Egg by the artist in 1856 for 100 guineas; bequeathed by Charles Gent Clement, to the Tate Gallery in 1899

Scholarly Commentary


DGR was intensely interested in the eighteenth-century poet Thomas Chatterton, who was known for composing faux-historic poems, tales, and songs, many of which were published in the Middlesex Journal. In 1880, DGR wrote a sonnet in his honor.


  • Hunt, Pre-Raphaelitism , 62 (vol. 2).
  • Prettejohn, The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites, 192-193 (no. 153).
  • The Pre-Raphaelites, Tate 1984, 142-144 (no.75).

Included Text

Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight

And burned is Apollo's laurel bough.

Note: The above lines from Christopher Marlowe's c. 1590 play Doctor Faustus are inscribed on the original frame.


  1. image

    Hunt, Pre-Raphaelitism , (vol. 2) 62.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: op145.rap.xml