<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
Francis Danby, 1793–1861

A Mountain Chieftain's Funeral

Former Title(s):

The Burial of Alaric

ca. 1848
Oil on canvas
14 × 21 3/4 inches (35.6 × 55.2 cm), Frame: 19 3/8 × 27 × 2 3/8 inches (49.2 × 68.6 × 6 cm)

Signed in yellow paint, lower left: "F DANBY"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
burial | casket | cliff | clouds | coffin | dark | flames | funeral | genre subject | moon | mountain | night | nighttime | people | procession | rocks (landforms) | torches (lighting devices) | walking
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

In 1849 the Irish painter Francis Danby exhibited a large canvas entitled A Mountain Chieftain’s Funeral in Olden Times at the British Institution. At the same exhibition, Danby’s rival, John Martin, showed a new version of his famous painting Joshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still upon Gibeon (1816). Critics were quick to draw comparisons between the two artists’ careers. Martin was undoubtedly the more famous of the two; nevertheless, one reviewer described Danby as following “hard on [Martin’s] heels.” The “extreme darkness, that seems at first sight to swallow up everything” in Danby’s painting would have called to mind for exhibition-goers the “darkness visible” of Martin’s celebrated The Deluge (shown to your right), painted fifteen years earlier. The Center’s Danby painting is a reduced version of—and may have been a study for—his British Institution picture.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

The Critique of Reason : Romantic Art, 1760–1860 (Yale University Art Gallery, 2015-03-06 - 2015-07-26) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Francis Danby ARA (Tate Britain, 1989-02-15 - 1989-04-09) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Francis Danby ARA (Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 1988-11-05 - 1989-01-21) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Painting in England 1700-1850 - From The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon (Yale University Art Gallery, 1965-04-15 - 1965-06-20) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 78-79, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Painting in England 1700-1850 from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, The Royal Academy of Arts Winter Exhibition 1964-65., , Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 1964, p. 48 (v.1), no. 176, ND466 R68 1964/65 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Yale University Art Gallery, Painting in England, 1700-1850, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon : [exhibition at] Yale University Art Gallery, April 15-June 20, 1965, , vol. 1, W. Clowes and sons, New Haven, 1965, p. 18 (v.1), no. 61, ND466 Y35 (YCBA) [YCBA]

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.