Tricks of the trade
Behind the scenes
Thanks to Google, there is a new way of identifying certain unknown works in our collection.
This one for instance, which languished for decades as 'An unknown gentleman'. And unless by some chance someone happened to recognize the subject, that was how he was going to stay.
Now there's Google's 'Search visually similar images' function. And fortunately a lot of museums and libraries have digitised their collections of prints, making a visual search quite feasible.
So now we can be certain that this is Sir William Garrow (1760-1840), an important lawyer and reformer of legal systems, the subject of a book...
... and a BBC costume drama
The system's not perfect and can throw up some hilarious 'mis-hits'. For some juvenile fun, try Grant Lingard's soapy rugby boots. Get the URL of the image, visit Google images, then click on the little camera in the search box and paste the image URL.
Hours of very silly fun to be had!