Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Graves, Henry

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1398850Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement, Volume 2 — Graves, Henry1901Freeman Marius O'Donoghue

GRAVES, HENRY (1806–1892), print-seller, son of Robert Graves (d. 1825), and younger brother of Robert Graves, A.R.A. [q. v.], was born on 16 July 1806. At the age of sixteen he became an assistant of Samuel Woodburn, the art dealer, and later was employed by Messrs. Hurst, Robinson, & Co., the successors of Boydell, as manager of their print department. On the failure of this firm in 1825 Graves, in conjunction with Francis Graham Moon [q. v.] and J. Boys, acquired the business which was carried on with various changes of partnership until 1844, when Graves became sole proprietor ; the title of the firm has since been Henry Graves & Co. In the course of an enterprising and successful career, throughout which he was recognised as the leading London printseller, Graves published an immense number of fine engravings from pictures by Turner, Wilkie, Lawrence, Constable, Landseer, Faed, Frith, Grant, Millais, and other contemporary painters. He specially devoted himself to the reproduction of the works of Sir Edwin Landseer, employing upon the work the best engravers of the day, and paying the artist himself more than 50,000l. for copyrights. He also issued valuable library editions of the works of Reynolds, Lawrence, Gainsborough, Liverseege, and Landseer. Graves was one of the founders of the 'Art Journal' and 'Illustrated London News,' an active member of the Printsellers' Association and the Artists' General Benevolent Fund, and a governor of the Shakespeare memorial at Stratford. He died at his house in Pall Mall, London, on 23 August 1892, and was buried in Highgate cemetery. By his first wife, Mary Squire (d. 1871), Graves had two sons, Boydell Graves and Algernon Graves, the latter of whom is chairman of the company to which the business was transferred in 1896.

[Times, 24 Aug. 1892; Athenaeum, 3 Sept. 1892; private information.]

F. M. O'D.