WILLIAM BOXALL autograph Letter Signed.
British (English) painter.
ALS. 1p and integral blank leaf. 14 Welbeck Street. Saturday, no month or year. To Miss Shapter.
"I have been laid up all the week with one of my worst colds - I have not been able to make any appointment, for I have been unable to work. I am very much grieved that your picture is not done. Can you come and give me a couple of good hours this morning. Your troublesome but faithful painter, W. Boxall."
8vo. Approx 7 x 4.5 inches. Small abrasion to verso of the integral blank leaf, else fine.
Sir William Boxall began his career as a painter of historical subjects before turning to the more lucrative genre of portraiture. He was a close friend of the artists Edwin Landseer and Charles Lock Eastlake (he was the executor of the latter and also his successor as Keeper of the National Gallery). He was also the friend of the poet, William Wordsworth, whose portrait he painted. He all but gave up painting when he became Keeper of the National Gallery, devoting all of his attentions to the enlargement of the collections and he is largely responsible for the acquisition of some of the gallery's most famous works. Miss Shapter was the daughter of the Exeter surgeon Thomas Shapter and it appears from this letter that her portrait was being painted by William Boxall and that he is asking her to attend that morning to sit for the portrait. It is likely, therefore, that the letter dates from sometime prior to February 1866, the date on which William Boxall succeeded Charles Lock Eastlake as Keeper.
From a 19th century album compiled by Miss Shapter, a daughter of the Exeter surgeon, Thomas Shapter, who is best known for his book on the Cholera epidemic.