Frederic William Burton (1816-1900)


Frederic William Burton

Burton was an accomplished watercolour painter with a keen interest in Irish history and antiquarianism. He developed a relationship with his fellow artist and antiquarian George Petrie, and both men travelled around Ireland documenting and sketching Irish historical ruins and monuments. Their work was important in promoting an understanding of Ireland’s proud and ancient heritage in the mid-19th century. On one trip with William Stokes, Petrie wrote to Burton describing the wonderful landscape on the road to Galway and lamenting Burton's absence. 

Burton was appointed director of the National Gallery, London in 1874, a post that he held until 1894. In 1879, the influential art critic, John Ruskin wrote to Burton about a painting by Vivanini as well as the Turner bequest, which the Gallery received in 1856. 


A selection of items from the collection:

Portrait photograph of Frederic William Burton (1816-1900), [c.1843] (see above)
Presented by Sheila Beere, 1987

Letter from George Petrie (1790-1866) to Frederic William Burton, 7 October 1857
Presented by Sheila Beere, 1987

Letter from John Ruskin (1819-1900) to Frederick William Burton, 10 December 1879
Presented by Sheila Beere, 1987 

Portrait photograph of Frederick William Burton (1816-1900), [c.1890]
Presented by Sheila Beere, 1987