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A print by George Baxter after a portrait of Sir Robert Peel by Thomas Lawrence. 


The Sitter: Sir Robert Peel 2nd Baronet (1788-1850). 

Robert Peel was the Conservative Prime Minister of the UK from December 1834 to April 1835, and again for almost five years from 1841 to 1846. Son of a wealthy cotton mill owner, and Peel was educated at Harrow and Oxford, entering parliament as a Tory in 1809. . In 1822, he become home secretary, and introduced far-ranging criminal law and prison reform as well as creating the Metropolitan Police - the terms 'bobbies' and 'peelers' come from his name.

In his second administraton he oversaw the introduction of important legislation such as the Mines Act of 1842, which made it illegal to  employ women and children underground and the Factory Act of 1844, which limited working hours for children and women in factories. In 1845, he tried to repeal the Corn Laws against much opposition from landowners intent on protecting their interests. He lost the support of his party but in 1846 with support from the Whigs and Radicals the bill passed. He resigned, however, the same year and never held office again. He died after falling from his horse in 1850. 


Printer: George Baxter (1804-1867). George Baxter was an engraver and printer who invented a process of colour printing that made reproductions of paintings available on a mass scale. The process combined an engraved metal plate with up to twenty engraved wooden blocks, each printed in a separate colour in a combined intaglio and relief process . The prints were both good quality and cheap and large numbers were produced and used on a range of materials including music sheets, needle-cases, book illustrations and stationary.  The process was given a royal patent in 1835 (Patent No. 6916 – Improvements in Producing Coloured Steel Plate, Copper Plate and other Impressions). The patent lasted from 1835 to 1854. During the last few years of this period Baxter licensed his method to various printers, who used it until the 1870s. Baxter prints can be identified by the characteristics of each separate technique involved in the process; the aquatint grain, the darker lines of the intaglio plate, and the squashed rims of the relief blocks. He made little money though and was declared bankrupt just two years before his death. A combination of his perfectionism, the length of the process and the rise of photography all contributed to this. 



printed and published April 20th 1853 by the Proprietor George Baxter, the Inventor and Patentee of Oil Colour PIcture printing. 11 & 12 Northampton Square...centred at Stationers Hall. 



Portrait of Sir Robert Peel, Thomas Lawrence - Framed Antique Print

SKU: 1086
  • Image Number: 1086
    Title: Portrait of Sir Robert Peel
    Artist: Thomas Lawrence

    Printer: George Baxter

    Date: 1853

    Medium: Baxter process print

    Framed size (h x w): 219 x 180mm



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