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Portrait of Thomas ‘Oldham’ Barlow RA

John Everett Millais
1886

A portrait of Thomas Barlow, an artist and engraver from Oldham who made the works of many well-known artists (particularly Millais) accessible to the public through prints.

In this portrait Thomas Barlow is holding one of his own engravings. His engravings brought Millais’s work to a wider audience and Millais returned the favour by painting this lively and affectionate portrait.

It was voted ‘Best Portrait’ when it was shown at the Royal Academy in London. Barlow was also the model for Millais’s painting ‘The Ornithologist’ which is now part of the collections at Glasgow Museums.

Thomas Barlow was born in Oldham in 1824. His mother’s maiden name was Oldham.