Frank O. Salisbury - Study of a herald for 'Edward I and the Passing of Queen Eleanor'
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Overall: 74cm (29.2in) x 54.3cm (21.4in)
Provenance: By descent from the artist.
Watercolour, bodycolour and pencil on paper. Full length study of a hooded herald facing right, holding a ceremonial mace and wearing a tabard displaying the quartered arms of Queen Eleanor - England and Castile & Leon. Signed ‘Frank O. Salisbury’ lower right, and inscribed upper left ‘The herald Edward I for The Passing of Queen Eleanor'. Image size: 53.5cm (21in) x 35cm (13.8in). Framed and glazed.
Frank Salisbury’s vast 1908 painting ‘Edward I and the Passing of Queen Eleanor’ is an expression of his early fascination with medievalism and interest in the pre-Raphaelites. It reflected on Edward I’s romantic gesture of marking the twelve overnight stops on the Queen’s journey from her place of death at Harby, Nottinghamshire to her chosen burial place at Blackfriars in London with lavishly decorated stone crosses - the famous Eleanor Crosses of which the one at Charing Cross, Westminster was the largest and most ornate. Edward and Eleanor were married at a young age in 1254 to preserve English rule over Gascony. She was daughter of Ferdinand III, King of Castile and Leon. It proved a love match and the couple were inseparable until her death. They had four sons, including Edward II, and eleven daughters.
Frederick Thurston’s photo of Frank Salisbury in front of The Passing of Queen Eleanor, hanging at Red Gables, 1907
Salisbury’s painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1907 and afterwards toured provincial art galleries before returning to Salisbury’s studio. In 1918, it was purchased by the Mayor of St.Albans, for presentation to St.Albans Abbey as a war memorial to commemorate the recent deliverance of Jerusalem from the Turks by British, Anzac and Indian troops. Edward I, was the last of the crusaders, and the General Allenby’s entry into Jerusalem in December 1917 was seen as the completion of his work. The war memorial painting was stolen from the south transept of what is now St.Albans Cathedral in 1973 and has not been recovered.
Salisbury with his painting of George V
Frank Owen Salisbury, LL.D., R.P., R.O.I. (1874-1962) began as apprentice in a stained glass works in St. Albans, Hertfordshire and became one of the greatest society artists of his generation. Trained at the Royal Academy Schools, he was aided in his early career as portraitist by a co-congregationalist, the Methodist benefactor Lord Wakefield. During the First World War Salisbury was selected to paint the portrait of Boy Cornwell, V.C., the youthful hero of the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Such brought Salisbury to Royal notice and he was subsequently commissioned to paint The King and Queen visiting the Battle Districts of France, and by Royal Command, The Burial of the Unknown Warrior. Salisbury’s later portraits include many iconic images of national and international figures - the wartime ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ portrait of Churchill (formerly at 10 Downing Street), Montgomery standing before the wall map of Northwest Europe (National Portrait Gallery) and the official White House portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt, among them.