Stanley Littlejohn

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Littlejohn's work on William Blake's Glad Day is one of the restorer's most regarded achievements.

Stanley Littlejohn (born Camberwell, London 1876 – died 1917) was an English painting conservator and restorer. He is best known for his work on Tintoretto's sketches,[1] and for his restoration of a number of paintings and drawings by William Blake, including Glad Day[2] and The Ghost of a Flea.

Littlejohn began his career as an engraver. In 1904, he was appointed to the staff of the British Museum repairing and restoring workshop, and became its head in 1908.[3] He had a deep interest in Oriental painting and employed many of the techniques of master Japanese methods of mounting.[4] He was employed by the National Portrait Gallery on two occasions, when he worked on pieces by John Constable, George Richmond and Alfred Stevens.[4] He served with the Royal Engineers during the First World War. On his eighth day of active combat, he was killed when he was struck on the head by shrapnel from a shell which had exploded close to him.[3]

On his death, he was described as a "uniquely gifted craftsman and valuable public servant", who in his field "had no rival anywhere".[4] In 1918, The Burlington Magazine wrote that "each artist of this rank leaves an actual void which can never be filled by anyone else".[5]


  1. ^ "The British Library general catalogue of printed books 1976 to 1982". British Library, 1983. 66
  2. ^ Bindman, David. William Blake: catalogue of the collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Fitzwilliam Museum, 1970. 37
  3. ^ a b Laurence and Colvin, 16-19
  4. ^ a b c "British picture restorers, 1630-1950 - L". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved on 17 January 2010.
  5. ^ Veitch, 37-38


  • Binyon, Laurence and Colvin, Sidney. "The Late Stanley William Littlejohn". The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, Volume 32, No. 178, January 1918.
  • Veitch, H. N. "The 'Jerusalem Dish' at Sotheby's". The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, Volume 33, No. 184, July 1918.