A Good 19thC English School Portrait of a Man Wearing a Turban Attributed to Frederick Weekes (fl.1854-1893)

Origin: English
Period: Mid/Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870-80
Canvas Height: 8.25 inches
Canvas Width: 7.25 inches

The unframed nineteenth century oil on board head and shoulders portrait of bearded middle –aged continental man wearing a green turban, inscribed verso "Fred Weekes," and attributed thus.

Although slightly dirty, the quality of the painting is really rather good, there is some discolouration across the surface of the work, with a couple of small scuffs. We will provide the vintage bulldog clip with the picture so it can be hung without a frame. The marking to the back is faint but clearly reads Fred Weekes. The picture has obviously been framed in an oval inset frame at some point.
Frederick Weekes was the son of distinguished sculptor Henry Weekes RA (1807-1877) and grew up in an artistic, antiquarian environment that nurtured a desire to train as a painter as well as an abiding and passionate interest in the history, artefacts and decoration of the Middle Ages. Weekes became a painter and an acknowledged expert on medieval costume and design, teaching at the Architectural Museum and exhibiting at the Royal Academy in the 1860’s.

It was probably through Weekes’ interest in medieval costume that he met and became associated with the leading Victorian ‘Gothic’ architect and designer, William Burges (1827-1881). The pair are known to have collected armour together (and eventually fell out acrimoniously on the subject – Weekes accusing Burges, whom he described as his ‘pupil’ of being ‘perfectly ignorant’.)  In happier times, Weekes worked very closely with Burges on a number of important projects, including Lord Bute’s Cardiff Castle and the architect’s own house, The Tower House in Holland Park, where he painted furniture and friezes.

A good, moody and interesting picture of particular interest to those interested in the Arts and Crafts or gothic revival movements.