John Deffett Francis (Biographical details)

John Deffett Francis (printmaker; painter/draughtsman; collector; British; Male; 1815 - 1901)

Also known as

Francis, John Deffett


Wakefield, Yorkshire (in 1865) Swansea (later)


Portrait painter, printmaker and collector. Presented numerous groups of material to the BM, and a large collection of British watercolours and prints to the Swansea Art Gallery.
The following is taken from the Dictionary of Welsh Biography: the son of a Swansea coachbuilder, John Francis, and his wife Mary, and a younger brother of George Grant Francis, the antiquary. He devoted himself to painting , particularly portrait-painting , at an early age and eventually went to London where he became acquainted with Dickens, Thackeray, and Ruskin, and became one of the 'founders of the Savage Club.' He painted portraits of Queen Victoria, Sir Robert Peel, and other notable persons, and several of these were engraved. He exhibited one picture at the Royal Academy in 1846 and several at other exhibitions between 1837 and 1860. Francis's assiduity as an art collector is remembered today by the existence of the Deffett Francis Art Gallery at Swansea, which contains the large collection of pictures and engravings which, with a considerable art library, he presented to the Swansea corporation during his lifetime.


Lugt 1444, 1445, 1446 & 1447 (the British Museum also stamped its own mark on his collection Lugt 945)