Gibbon, Benjamin Phelps (DNB00)

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GIBBON, BENJAMIN PHELPS (1802–1851), line-engraver, son of the Rev. Benjamin Gibbon, vicar of Penally, Pembrokeshire, was born in 1802. He was educated at the Clergy Orphan School, and afterwards articled to Edward Scriven, the chalk-engraver. He inclined in early life to the stage, but on the expiration of his articles he placed himself under the line-engraver John Henry Robinson, and soon attained great proficiency. His plates, some of which are engraved in line and others in a mixed style, are distinguished by delicacy of touch. They are mostly from the works of Sir Edwin Landseer, after whom he engraved ‘The Twa Dogs,’ 1827; ‘The Travelled Monkey,’ 1828, a small plate engraved for the ‘Anniversary;’ ‘The Fireside Party,’ 1831; ‘Jack in Office,’ 1834; ‘Suspense,’ 1837; ‘The Shepherd's Grave,’ 1838; ‘The Shepherd's Chief Mourner,’ 1838; ‘Be it ever so humble, there's no place like Home,’ 1843; ‘The Highland Shepherd's Home,’ 1846; and ‘Roebuck and Rough Hounds,’ 1849. He engraved also ‘Wolves attacking Deer,’ 1834, after Friedrich Gauermann, in which the landscape was engraved by E. Webb; and ‘The Wolf and the Lamb,’ after Mulready. He, however, took more interest in portraits than in subject pictures, although he did not engrave many. They include a half-length portrait of Queen Victoria, after William Fowler, engraved in 1840, and a head of his master, Edward Scriven, after Andrew Morton, engraved for Pye's ‘Patronage of British Art,’ 1845. His death, occasioned by an attack of English cholera, took place at his residence in Albany Street, Regent's Park, London, on 28 July 1851, in his forty-ninth year. He died unmarried, and left scarcely half finished a plate from Webster's picture of ‘The Boy with many Friends,’ which was completed by P. Lightfoot.

[Art Journal, 1851, p. 238; Athenæum, 6 Sept. 1851, p. 956; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of the English School, 1878; Algernon Graves's Catalogue of the Works of Sir Edwin Landseer, 1875.]

R. E. G.