About this artwork

This painting is one of three by Ballantyne of the artist Thomas Faed at work. It is part of a larger series of works that show artists in their studios, most of which were completed by 1864 with some later additions. In this painting, Faed’s easel is facing outwards so that the spectator can see the unfinished canvas of ‘The Mitherless Bairn’ – the orphan. This work was Faed's first great success, but it was exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1855, about a decade before Ballantyne painted his view of Faed’s studio. Thomas Faed was the youngest of three artist brothers. His narrative genre paintings were very popular in his lifetime and many were published as prints and were sold to a larger Victorian audience.

  • title: Thomas Faed, 1825 - 1900. Artist (in his studio)
  • accession number: PG 962
  • artist: John BallantyneScottish (1815 - 1897)
  • depicted: Thomas Faed
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Interior Visual arts
  • materials: Oil on canvas
  • date created: About 1865
  • measurements: 63.50 x 76.20 cm (framed: 80.30 x 93.40 x 7.00 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased 1923
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

John Ballantyne

John Ballantyne

Born in Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Ballantyne trained at the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh under William Allan and Thomas Duncan, before studying in London, Paris and Rome. When he returned to Edinburgh in 1839, he established himself as a portrait and history painter. In 1848 he was appointed Headmaster of the Trustees' Academy. Ballantyne moved to London in 1863. He is best known for his seventeen canvases showing contemporary artists at work in their studios, painted in the early 1860s. Other paintings from this series are in the National Portrait Gallery, London and Aberdeen City Art Gallery.