"King of Sorrows," a recently rediscovered oil on canvas by William Shakespeare Burton (United Kingdom, 1830-1916). The large scale painting, considered one of the painter's most important paintings, was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1897. It depicts Jesus Christ just prior to his crucifixion, seated in a prison cell atop a Middle Eastern rug and stone bench, with a crown of thorns atop his head and rope bound hands, attired in a red robe having a sword as a closure and holding a whip, a cat-o-nine-tails to his right, with crushed grapes, spears and a Roman eagle banner finial at his feet. Inscription on stone seat reads in Latin, "Rex ludaeorum" or "Jesus the Nazarine, King of the Jews". A circa 1896 photograph of Burton working on this painting was pictured in a 1906 article in the English Illustrated Magazine by John S. Purcell, titled "A Veteran Artist: Mr. William Shakespeare Burton" (Vol. 35, pp. 238-48). A copy of page 238, showing the painting, accompanies this lot. This painting was also referenced but listed as "untraced" in a recent National Portrait Gallery catalog entry for Burton's self portrait, in the NPG collection. However, by the 1980s this painting had surfaced in the collection of The World Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When that museum closed in the early 1980s, the painting was sold to businessman and collector Larry Casey of Jackson, Tennessee, where it remained until being consigned to this auction as part of his estate. Housed in a gilt wood carved and cove molded frame with an oak leaf design to the outer edge and leaf and dart design to the inner edge. Unsigned. Sight – 53 1/2" H x 43 1/2" W. Framed – 64 1/8" H x 54 1/8" W. Biography: William Burton Shakespeare was an English genre and historical painter of the Victorian era. His grandfather was a printer and his father William Evans Burton, was a comic actor and playwright, who gained popularity in the United States. As an only child, Burton worked at copying prints as a teenager. He later studied at King's College and the Royal Academy School, where he won a gold medal in 1852 for a painting depicting Samson and Delilah. He is primarily remembered for his work "The Wounded Cavalier" which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1856 and was considered as his only participation with the Pre-Raphaelite movement of the 1850s. In his later years Burton mainly painted religious subjects. He lived and painted into his 80's. Provenance: The Estate of Larry Casey, Jackson, Tennessee. CONDITION: Canvas relined. Abrasions/rubbing to canvas upper left and right center margin. Scattered minor abrasions to the frame.
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