Monday, 6 October 2014

Signing and a Blank Canvas

I think this picture is of the signing of The Anglo-French Free Trade Treaty 1860. It is sometimes called The Cobden–Chevalier Treaty after the men who set it up. 

This is Lord Palmerston during the later debates on the treaty in February 1860, as painted by John Phillip (1863) They are talking in the House of Commons. 

They had made some small but important errors, like writing 'harbour' instead of 'shipping'. And writing about English coal, instead of British. 

“The Schleswig-Holstein question is so complicated, only three men in Europe have ever understood it. One was Prince Albert, who is dead. The second was a German professor who became mad. I am the third and I have forgotten all about it.”
Lord Palmerston 

The Scottish artist John Phillip completed a self portrait in which he is confronted by a blank canvas. 

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