His greatest qualities were not those which proclaimed themselves the loudest, and that the merits by which he achieved his amazing popularity, sound and even commanding as they are, belong less to the technical excellences which raised him to his pinnacle than the appeal they made to the understanding, not necessarily artistic, of the people. Though Sir John Gilbert practised art in many of its branches, it is only in one — and that not, in the public estimation, the one by which he defied the rivalry of all comers — that he showed himself head and shoulders above the draughtsmen of his time. Distinguished as he was as a painter, whether in oil or watercolour, it is in virtue of his achievements in black-and-white that he takes his place among the few masters, not of his age and country only but of all time, who, through the medium of the hand or printing press, have ranged themselves among the highest. — 1897 Magazine of Art

Biographical Materials



Other works


Bucklow, Spike, and Sally Woodcock, eds. Sir John Gilbert, Art and Imagination in the Victorian Age. Farnham: Lund Humphries, 2011. [Review by Laurent Bury].

“Sir John Gilbert R.A, P.R.W.S. A Memorial Sketch.” Magazine of Art 22 (1897-98): 53-64. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of Toronto Library. Web. 1 February 2015.

Last modified 2 February 2015