21st October 2013
Llandaff’s architect John Pollard Seddon was the son of a highly successful cabinet making and furniture manufacturing dynasty. His father was Thomas Seddon (the Second) and JP Seddon’s brother was the PreRaphaelite painter, Thomas Seddon (the Third). Through his brother, JP Seddon became connected to, and worked with, William Holman Hunt, William Morris, Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne Jones, Val Prinsep and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
In 1853, Thomas Seddon (the Third) travelled to Egypt with William Holman Hunt to paint. Seddon and Hunt camped near the Pyramids. From a hill looking up the valley with a view of the biblical sites of the Garden Of Gesthamane and the Mount of Olives, Seddon painted Jerusalem and the Valley of Jehoshaphat from the Hill of Evil Counsel.
In 1856 Seddon returned to Cairo again, but died there on 23th November of dysentery, leaving JP Seddon bereft. In 1857 Thomas Seddon’s works were exhibited by the Society of Arts, to great general acclaim and John Ruskin’s highly favourable critique sealed their public approval. Jerusalem and the Valley of Jehoshaphat was placed in the National Gallery. Thomas Seddon’s paintings are now in the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford, and The Tate Gallery.