"Portrait of Alfred Gibson playing the violin. By Herbert Olivier, 1899. Oil on canvas." [2003.1055], Olivier, Herbert A.
Portrait of Alfred Gibson playing the violin. By Herbert Olivier, 1899. Oil on canvas.
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Object Type
Presented by Mr J. C. Gibson, son of the sitter, October 1965
Portrait of Alfred Gibson playing the violin. Three-quarter length, wearing a dark suit, light waistcoat and holding the violin under his neck, with the bow held out in his right hand. By Herbert Olivier, 1899. Signed upper left, 'H. A. Olivier 99. Oil on canvas.
Primary inscription
H. A. Olivier 99
Name Role
Olivier, Herbert A. Artist
Date made
On June 26th 1899, to mark Gibson's 50th year, 187 of his past and present pupils made a presentation to him at 33 Great Pulteney Street, London. Mr John Farmer, the music master of Harrow School and subsequently organist of Balliol College, was Master of Cermonies. The painting was presented on this occasion, along with a Broadwood piano, a music stand and a silver-mounted conductor's baton. The names of the donors were inscribed in an illuminated book (made by Messrs Eyre and Spottiswoode), 'in token of their affectionate admiration and regard'. (See 'A Musician's Life: Alfred Gibson' by J. C. Gibson, his son. Produced for private circulation by Frederick Books, London, 1956. The painting is reproduced as a frontispiece. The book also reproduces an In Memoriam from the Royal Academy of Music Club Magazine, November 1924, pp63-4).

Herbert Olivier, the artist, was a close friend of Gibson's. His studio was above Marlborough Road Station, and during the painting of the portrait Olivier had suggested also painting Gibson's dog, Twig, which he did. (p45)

Descendants of Alfred Gibson's extended family include former students of the Royal Academy of Music - Lesley Hatfield, leader of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and her brother, horn player Peter Hatfield, who lives in Trondheim, Norway, where he is a member of the orchestra.

Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1900 and listed as 'Mr Alfred Gibson, Presentation Portrait'.
canvas oil
Type Length Width Height Diameter Unit (Length)
image 1020 1270 millimetres
image and frame 1280 1520 millimetres
Accession No.
Name Relationship
Gibson, (George) Alfred sitter
Olivier, Herbert A. artist