Sir Charles Lock Eastlake was a, museum director, collector and writer. He was the fourth son of an Admiralty lawyer at Plymouth. On 4 April 1849 he married Elizabeth Rigby, a writer, niece of Dawson Turner and cousin of Francis Palgrave.
From 1841 until 1848 Eastlake served as Secretary of the Fine Arts Commission set up to oversee the decoration of the new Houses of Parliament. In 1843 he was appointed Keeper and in 1855 Director of the National Gallery. In 1850 he was elected President of the Royal Academy, a post which held for the rest of his life, and he was also knighted. In 1851 he was appointed to the Commission for the Great Exhibition and in 1853 he became the first President of the Photographic Society. In 1860, Eastlake told the Duchess of Sutherland that Whistler's At the Piano (YMSM 24) was the best painting in the R.A. exhibition.
Eastlake, Charles (trans.), Goethe's Theory of Colours, London, 1840; Eastlake, Charles (ed.), A Handbook of the History of Painting from the Age of Constantine the Great to the Present Time: Part one: The Italian Schools of Painting, London, 1842; Eastlake, Charles, Materials for a History of Oil Painting, 2 vols, London, 1847-69; Eastlake, Charles, Contributions to the Literature of the Fine Arts, London, 1848; Robertson, D., Sir Charles Eastlake and the Victorian Art World, Princeton, 1978; McEvansoneya, Philip, 'Sir Charles Lock Eastlake', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, at http://www.groveart.com (accessed 22 February 2002).