UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

return to surnames beginning with 'B'

Alexander Barker, ca 1797- d.1873

Nationality: British
Date of Birth: 1797 ca
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1873.10.24
Place of Death: Hatfield near Doncaster

Identity:

Alexander Barker was a collector and member of the Burlington Fine Art Club. He was the son of a fashionable London bootmaker.

Life:

Barker was a member of the committee of the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1867 when JW was expelled on account of a quarrel with his brother-in-law Francis Seymour Haden [#10054]. He was not among those who voted in JW's favour [#12959]. Barker's address at this time was 103 Piccadilly.

Following Barker's death, a sale for the paintings in his collection was held by Christie's in June 1874. He had a huge collection including French furniture of all periods, English and Continental ceramics and porcelain, Venetian and German stained glass, bronzes and carvings in wood, ivory and crystal. His paintings included Giovanni Bellini's Virgin and Infant Saviour with SS Peter and Helena, Botticelli's Mars and Venus (National Gallery, London) and four of his cassoni panels illustrating the Story of Nastagio degli Onesti from Boccaccio's Decameron (Museo del Prado, Madrid), Piero della Francesca's Nativity (National Gallery, London), Luca Signorelli's Triumph of Chastity: Love Disarmed and Bound (National Gallery, London) and eight canvases by François Boucher depicting the Arts and Sciences (New York, Frick).

Bibliography:

PRO register of deaths, Thorne, October-December 1873, vol. 9c 434; Waagen, G. F., Treasures of Art in Great Britain, trans. E. Eastlake, 4 vols, London, 1854-57; Reitlinger, G., The Economics of Taste, 3 vols, London, 1961; Davies, Martin, The Earlier Italian Schools, London, 1951; 'Alexander Barker', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, http://www.groveart.com (accessed 27 June 2003).