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Barnes, Edward

Date and place of birth:
Date and place of death:
(fl) c1840
Known places of work:
Known techniques:
Painted on card
Known materials:
Not recorded


Edward Barnes is a rather unknown artist, who is nevertheless of interest because of his potential connection to William Bullock’s Liverpool centre for profilists.

Only one profile by this artist has been recorded, so it is difficult to speculate as to his origins or style. He appears to have been from Liverpool, or at least to have worked there on a semi-permanent basis. From a fragment of an advertisement it appears that he had also travelled to Leicester and Loughborough. It is known that William Bullock had a museum in Liverpool from which certain profilists worked, and conjecture has arisen whether Barnes was one of these artists. It is also known that Bullock’s profilists made use of a physiogonotrace, so it is not unreasonable to wonder if Barnes used one of these devices for his initial outlines.

It is known that Barnes was a decorative painter so it is not surprising that his use of gum Arabic and gold paint was skilful when detailing hair and clothes. The absence of fan-shaped gum Arabic marks at arm junctions had been mentioned as a feature in which Barnes’s differs from that of others known to have worked for Bullock. On the lapel turn-back of the only extant miniature by Barnes there are three or four neat strokes of gold which might be of help in identifying any other examples of this artist’s work.

Additional research about Edward Barnes:

Source: McKechnie (Author of, British Silhouette Artists and their Work 1760-1860)

Barnes, Edward (McKechnie Section 2)