Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/359

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
Gray
Gray
347

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.

GRAY, Sir JAMES (d. 1773), diplomatist and antiquary, was elder son of Sir James Gray, who was created baronet (of Scotland) by Queen Anne in 1707, and of Hester Dodd, his wife. Horace Walpole said of Gray that 'his father was first a box-keeper and then footman to James II.' In 1744 Gray, who had succeeded his father in the baronetcy, accompanied Robert D'Arcy, fourth earl of Holderness [q. v.], to Venice, and remained there as British resident until 1753, when he was transferred to Naples as envoy extraordinary to the king of Naples and the Two Sicilies. In 1761 he was again transferred as minister plenipotentiary to the king of Spain, and was made a knight of the Bath. Owing to the outbreak of war with Spain in that year, he did not take up his residence at Madrid until 1766. He held that post until his death. He was sworn of the privy council in 1769, and died in London, unmarried, in January 1773.

He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his younger brother, George Gray (d. 1773), colonel of the 17th foot and major-general in the army, who, however, only survived his brother a few weeks, and died in the following February. Their mother, Hester, lady Gray, survived both her sons, and died in 1788, aged 97. She was buried with her sons at Kensington.

Sir James Gray and General Gray are noteworthy as two of the original founders of the Society of Dilettanti in 1732, and they were among the leading spirits of the society. General Gray acted as secretary and treasurer to the society from 1738 to 1771, and was well known in society as an amateur of architecture. In 1750, when British resident in Venice, Sir James Gray met there and made acquaintance with James Stuart (1713-1788) [q. v.] and Nicholas Revett [q. v.], then just about to start for Athens. Through Gray's influence they were elected members of the Society of Dilettanti, which society thereby became identified with the important works on 'The Antiquities of Athens,' published by Stuart and Revett. At Naples he took a leading part in the discoveries at Herculaneum, and in the whole progress of classical research.

Portraits of Sir James Gray and General Sir George Gray in fancy dress are among the series painted by Knapton, and still in the possession of the Society of Dilettanti. The former was one of the party at the celebrated Calves' Head Club dinner, on 30 Jan. 1734, at the White Eagle tavern in Suffolk Street, which resulted in a street riot, and was converted at the moment into a matter of historical importance.

[Gust's History of the Society of Dilettanti; Faulkner's History of Kensington; Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montague.]

L. C.

GRAY, JOHN MILLER (1850–1894), art critic and curator of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, was born in Edinburgh in 1850,his mother dying at his birth. His father, John Gray, who had retired from business, lost nearly all he had saved by the failure of the Western Bank, and Gray had to leave school somewhat early and enter the Commercial Bank. Devoting his leisure to the study of books and pictures and prints, he gradually made a beginning as a critic, writing principally for the 'Edinburgh Courant.' His monograph on George Manson [q. v.] in 1880, along with other art criticism, attracted attention, and when the Scottish National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1884 by John Ritchie Findlay [q. v. Suppl.], Gray was appointed curator. Throwing himself ardently into the work, for he was devoted to history as well as to art, he did much for the welfare of the gallery. Meanwhile he also extended his literary connection, writing regularly for the 'Academy,' and occasionally for the 'Art Journal' and the 'Magazine of Art,' while after the collapse of the 'Courant' he became art critic on the 'Scottish Leader.' He also contributed much to the 'Encyclopædia Britannica,' 'Chambers's Encyclo-