Portrait of "The Lamented Missionary the Revd John Williams"

Scope and Content

Oil-coloured portrait, 22.5cm x 27cm, by George Baxter. This print shows the Mission House at Rarotonga in the background (a similar print exists with green curtains as background - see South Seas Pictures/10). None of the copies are captioned, but can be assumed to be the same as item 10 - "Seated in his Study composing his celebrated Missionary Enterprises, which have been aptly designated as a Supplement to the Acts of the Apostles".

Administrative / Biographical History

John Williams (1796-1839) served as a missionary with the London Missionary Society in the South Seas, 1816-1839.

George Baxter (1804-1867) was an engraver and printer who invented a process of colour printing that made reproductions of paintings available on a mass scale. He supplied colour illustrations to the publisher George Mudie and produced prints for the London Missionary Society. Baxter's process incorporated the aquatint method and involved superimposing the colours using wooden blocks. Baxter used carefully etched plates, a hand press, and the finest colours, oils and paper. He mixed the colours himself but left no record of their composition. The process quickly gained popularity and was widely useful in producing replications of paintings. [Source: National Portrait Gallery]

Conditions Governing Access


Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Copies vary in the depth of colour. 142 (2) is especially bright (perhaps a proof). Condition of all prints is poor.

Archivist's Note


Custodial History

Image held as part of the LMS Museum (inventory item 142) before being transferred to SOAS Library in January 2008.