'Life-Boat and Manby Apparatus Going Off To A Stranded Vessel', oil painting by Joseph Mallord William Turner, about 1831. Museum no. FA.211. Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
The Manby apparatus was a lifesaving device of a rope fired from a mortar. It was invented by Captain George Manby after a shipwreck in 1807 at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in the year that this work was exhibited.
'Disappointed Love', oil painting on panel by Francis Danby, Great Britain. Museum no. FA.65 Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy 1821. It was the first painting Danby exhibited and it became one of his best known works. It depicts a heartbroken young woman in the pose traditionally associated with the state of melancholy. A bonnet, shawl and miniature portrait of her lover lie beside her, while a torn-up letter floats away on the pond.
'The Sonnet', oil painting on panel by William Mulready, Great Britain, 1839. Museum no. FA.146. Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
This was one of the artist's most popular works. A critic observed: 'The youth is fiddling with his shoe-tie, but casting a upwards sly look, to ascertain what effect his lines produce upon the merry maid who reads them...placing her hand before her lips to suppress her laughter'.
'Ophelia Weaving her Garlands', oil on canvas by Richard Redgrave, Great Britain, 1842. Museum no. FA.171. Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
The depiction of Shakespeare's tragic heroine Ophelia was praised for its psychological insight. It was exhibited beside lines adapted from Hamlet:
'There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook
That shews his hoar leaves in the glossy stream
There with fantastic garland did she make
Of crow-flowers ,nettles, daisies, and long purples.'
'A Jack in Office', oil on panel by Edwin Henry Landseer, probably Great Britain, about 1833. Museum no. FA.94 Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
The title is a slang expression for a pompous government official. It is a pun on the principal character: a Jack Russell terrier. A critic described how 'the well-fed and much caressed dog…keeps others from testing the food of which it has had too much'.
'The Refusal', oil on panel by David Wilkie, Great Britain, 1814. Museum no. FA.226 Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
Wilkie took his subject from Robert Burns's song 'Duncan Gray' (1798). In the story, proud Maggie first refuses Duncan's proposal of marriage, but later changes her mind. Wilkie's friend, the painter William Mulready, was the model for Duncan.
'Autolycus', oil on canvas by Charles Robert Leslie, probably Great Britain, about 1836. Museum number. FA.115 Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
Autolycus was a thief disguised as a pedlar who appears in Shakespeare's play A Winter's Tale. He is shown here selling cheap goods and sensational printed ballads to gullible country folk. Leslie based the background sky and the ash tree at the right on studies supplied by a friend, the landscape painterJohn Constable (1776-1837).
'A Village Choir', oil on panel by Thomas Webster, Great Britain, 1847. Museum no. FA.222 Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
This work illustrates Washington Irving's 'Christmas Day', from The Sketch Book (1820). His essay was a comical and sentimental account of an old-fashioned village choir and its musicians. The painting was probably Webster's most famous work and was much admired. A critic praised its 'truth and diversity of character'.
'Blackheath Park', oil on panel by William Mulready, Blackheath, London, England, 1852. Museum no. FA.137 Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
John Sheepshanks was a good friend and patron of Mulready. This Painting shows the view across the park from the gate of Sheepshanks's house at Blackheath, South London. A critic described the picture as 'a refreshing green bit of nature'.
'My Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman', oil on canvas by Charles Robert Leslie, Great Britain, 1831. Museum no. FA.113 Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
This painting depicts an incident from Laurence Sterne's novel 'Tristram Shandy' (1765). It shows the Widow Wadman trying to stir the affections of Captain Shandy. He peers into her face as she holds a handkerchief to her eye, pretending she has something in it. It was one of Leslie's most popular compositions.
'Portrait of John Sheepshanks at his residence in Old Bond Street', oil on panel by William Mulready, probably Great Britain, 1832-34. Museum no. FA.142 Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
Mulready shows the collector in the drawing room of his house at 172 New Bond Street, London. He is surrounded by books and portfolios, while the housekeeper brings in his letters and morning tea. Sheepshanks's important collection of Netherlandish prints and drawings was sold to the British Museum in 1836