The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, or the Jesuit Treason, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.
Ernest Crofts, R.A. (1847-1911)
On the track of a fugitive, c. 1910
oil on canvas
48 x 36 in. (121.9 x 91.4 cm.)
Ernest Crofts (15 September 1847 – 19 March 1911) was a British painter of historical and military scenes. Born in Leeds, Ernest studied at Rugby School, for several years, and then headed to Berlin where he developed his interest in art and decided upon a career as a painter. His first acquaintance with war was made in 1864 when he accompanied a Prussian doctor in the Schleswig-Holstein War, and the operations around Düppel.
He returned to London and became a pupil under A. B. Clay, but was back in Germany a few years later, this time in Düsseldorf which was the center for historical painting in Europe. In 1874, he exhibited Retreat, representing an episode in the Franco-Prussian War during the Battle of Gravelotte, and in the same year, another scene from the same conflict, One touch of nature makes the whole world kin which won him the Crystal Palace prize medal.
Ernest Crofts, RA (British, 1847-1911)
The Gunpowder Plot: the conspirators' last stand at Holbeach House, c. 1892
Oil on canvas
51 x 72in (129.5 x 182.8cm)
This painting depicts the last stand of the gunpowder plot conspirators at Holbeche House, near Dudley in Staffordshire. It is the smaller version of a larger exhibition piece that was shown at the Royal Academy in 1892. Artists often produced a smaller version of a work prior to committing it to a larger scale. More on this painting
Ernest Crofts was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Arts on 19 July 1878, the year that his picture, Wellington on his march from Quatre Bras to Waterloo was shown. The artist walked and sketched much of the area around the battlefield of Waterloo. In 1896, he was elected a full academician of the Royal Academy, and his Diploma Work, a Civil War scene, was entitled To the Rescue. Two years later he succeeded Philip Calderon as keeper and trustee of the RA. He was in effect chief director of the academy art schools as well as chief custodian of the Diploma Galley.
In 1901 the king commissioned him to paint a picture of the distribution of the war medals following the Boer War. Two years later, he painted a large scene of the funeral of Queen Victoria. One of his most ambitious works was the panel in the ambulatory of the Royal Exchange which portrayed Queen Elizabeth opening the first Royal Exchange in 1571.
The artist died of pneumonia at Burlington House on 19 March 1911. More on Ernest Crofts
Crispijn van de Passe the Elder, (c.1564, Arnemuiden - buried 6 March 1637, Utrecht)
The craftsmen of the Gunpowder Plot
National Portrait Gallery
Crispijn van de Passe the Elder, (c.1564, Arnemuiden - buried 6 March 1637, Utrecht) was a Dutch publisher and engraver and founder of a dynasty of engravers. Most of their engravings were portraits, book title-pages, and the like, with relatively few grander narrative subjects. As with the other dynasties, their style is very similar, and hard to tell apart in the absence of a signature or date, or evidence of location. Many of the family could produce their own designs, and have left drawings.
Crispijn van de Passe I was born in Arnemuiden in Zeeland, and trained and worked in Antwerp, then the centre of the printmaking world, with hugely productive workshops. By 1585 he was a member of the artists' Guild of Saint Luke, and doing work for Christopher Plantin. The disruptions of the Dutch Revolt scattered these artists across Northern Europe; de Passe was an Anabaptist, which made his position especially difficult. He first moved to Aachen, until Protestants were also expelled from there. He started his own engraving and publishing business in Cologne in 1589, but again was forced to leave in 1611. He set up in business in Utrecht, by about 1612, where he created engravings for the English and other markets, and where he died in 1637. His works include a famous rendition of the English Gunpowder Plotters, although it is not known what basis he had for the likenesses. More on Crispijn van de Passe the Elder
The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England's Parliament on 5 November 1605, as the prelude to a popular revolt in the Midlands during which James's nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was to be installed as the Catholic head of state. Catesby may have embarked on the scheme after hopes of securing greater religious tolerance under King James had faded, leaving many English Catholics disappointed. His fellow plotters were John Wright, Thomas Wintour, Thomas Percy, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, Robert Wintour, Christopher Wright, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby and Francis Tresham. Fawkes, who had 10 years of military experience fighting in the Spanish Netherlands in suppression of the Dutch Revolt, was given charge of the explosives.
Henry Perronet Briggs (1793–1844)
The Discovery of the Gunpowder Plot and the Taking of Guy Fawkes, circa 1823
Oil on canvas
149 × 199 cm (58.7 × 78.3 in)
Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Henry Perronet Briggs RA (1793 – 18 January 1844) was an English painter of portraits and historical scenes. Hewas born at Walworth, County Durham. While still at school at Epping he sent two engravings to the "Gentleman's Magazine" and in 1811 entered as a student at the Royal Academy, London, where he began to exhibit in 1814. From that time onwards until his death he was a constant exhibitor at the annual exhibitions of the Academy, as well as the British Institution, his paintings being for the most part historical in subject. After his election as a Royal Academician (RA) in 1832 he devoted his attention almost exclusively to portraiture. More on Henry Perronet Briggs
The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, on 26 October 1605. During a search of the House of Lords at about midnight on 4 November 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder—enough to reduce the House of Lords to rubble—and arrested.
Embleton, Ron (1930-88)
The Gunpowder Plot
Catholic conspirators attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605
Gouache on paper
Ronald Sydney Embleton (6 October 1930 – 13 February 1988) was a British illustrator who gained fame as a comics artist. In the 1950s and 1960s, Embleton also pursued a career as an oil painter, and he exhibited his works widely in Britain, Germany, Australia, Canada and the USA. He was a member of the London Sketch Club and the National Society of Painters, Sculptors and Printmakers, and in 1960 was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.
Following Embleton's death at age 57, his obituary in The Times described him as "responsible for some of the finest full-colour adventure series in modern British comics ... a grandmaster of his art." David Ashford and Norman Wright, writing in Book and Magazine Collector (March 2002), note that "his work for such diverse periodicals as Express Weekly, TV Century 21, Princess, Boys' World, and Look and Learn have earned him the respect of every practitioner in the field and the gratitude of all of us who admire the art of the comic strip." More on Ronald Sydney Embleton
Charles Gogin (1844–1931)
Guy Fawkes, c. 1870
Oil on cardboard
40.5 x 57.2 cm
York Museums Trust
Sir John Gilbert (1817 - 1897)
Guy Fawkes before King James, c. (1869-70)
90 x 52 cm (35,4 x 20,4 inches)
Watercolour on paper
Harrogate Museums and Art Gallery, North Yorkshire
Sir John Gilbert RA (21 July 1817 – 5 October 1897) was an English artist, illustrator and engraver.
Gilbert was born in Blackheath, Surrey, and taught himself to paint. His only formal instruction was from George Lance. Skilled in several media, Gilbert gained the nickname, "the Scott of painting". He was best known for the illustrations and wood-engravings he produced for the Illustrated London News.
Gilbert was initially apprenticed to a firm of estate agents, but taught himself art by copying prints. He was unable to enter the Royal Academy Schools, but mastered watercolour, oils, and other media. From 1836 he exhibited at the Society of British Artists, and at the RA from 1838. Starting with Punch, he moved on to the Illustrated London News. He designed an impressive number of wood-engravings (over 2000) for that publication and for The London Journal. He also produced many illustrations for books. He became president of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1871. He exhibited some 400 pictures in watercolour and oil exhibited at the various societies. In 1872 he was knighted. He became an RA in 1876, in the same year as Edward John Poynter. More on John Gilbert
After Sir John Gilbert
Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), GUNPOWDER PLOT, 1605 being interrogated by King James I and his council in the King's bedchamber at Whitehall, following discovery of the 'Gunpowder Plot' to blow up the Houses of Parliament, 5 November 1605.
Wood engraving, 1861
Ronald Sydney Embleton
The Gunpowder Plot Guy Fawkes interrogated by James I
43.1 x 29.3 cm | 17 x 11.5 inches
The London Picture Archive
Most of the conspirators fled from London as they learned of the plot's discovery, trying to enlist support along the way. Several made a stand against the pursuing Sheriff of Worcester and his men at Holbeche House; in the ensuing battle Catesby was one of those shot and killed. At their trial on 27 January 1606, eight of the survivors, including Fawkes, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered.
Ronald Sydney Embleton (6 October 1930 – 13 February 1988) was a British comics artist and illustrator whose work was much admired by fans and editors alike. David Ashford and Norman Wright, writing in Book and Magazine Collector (March 2002) note that "his work for such diverse periodicals as Express Weekly, TV Century 21, Princess, Boy's World and Look and Learn have earned him the respect of every practitioner in the field and the gratitude of all of us who admire the art of the comic strip." More on Ronald Sydney Embleton
Claes (Nicolaes) Jansz Visscher
The PUNISHMENT, c. 1606
The Execution of the Conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot
9 1/4 in. x 13 1/2 in. (235 mm x 342 mm)
National Portrait Gallery, London
Details of the assassination attempt were allegedly known by the principal Jesuit of England, Father Henry Garnet. Although he was convicted of treason and sentenced to death, doubt has been cast on how much he really knew of the plot. As its existence was revealed to him through confession, Garnet was prevented from informing the authorities by the absolute confidentiality of the confessional. Although anti-Catholic legislation was introduced soon after the plot's discovery, many important and loyal Catholics retained high office during King James I's reign. The thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot was commemorated for many years afterwards by special sermons and other public events such as the ringing of church bells, which have evolved into the Bonfire Night of today. More on The Gunpowder Plot
The traditional death for traitors in 17th-century England was to be hanged from the gallows, then drawn and quartered in public. But, despite his role in the Gunpowder Plot - which the perpetrators hoped would kill King James and as many members of parliament as possible - it was not to be Fawkes's fate.
As he awaited his grisly punishment on the gallows, Fawkes leapt to his death - to avoid the horrors of having his testicles cut off, his stomach opened and his guts spilled out before his eyes. He died from a broken neck.
His body was subsequently quartered, and his remains were sent to "the four corners of the kingdom" as a warning to others. More on The traditional death for traitors
Claes Janszoon Visscher (1587 – 19 June 1652) was a Dutch Golden Age draughtsman, engraver, mapmaker, and publisher. He was the founder of the successful Visscher family mapmaking business. The firm that he established in Amsterdam would be passed down his generations until it was sold to Peter Schenk.
Visscher, who was born and died in Amsterdam, was also known as Nicolas Joannes Piscator or Nicolas Joannis Visscher II. He learned the art of etching and printing from his father, and helped grow the family printing and mapmaking business to one of the largest in his time. The times were with the Visschers for other reasons; due to the Protestant reformation, the older Bibles with their "Roman Catholic" illustrations were seen as outdated and apocryphal, but to liven up the new Protestant Bibles for the less well-read clergy, the Visschers produced illustrated maps and even landscapes of the places in the Bible.
Aside from Bibles, Claes Visscher II primarily etched and published landscapes, portraits, and maps. He etched over 200 plates and his maps included elaborate original borders. Visscher died in 1652. More on Claes Janszoon Visscher
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