Frost, William Edward (1810-77)
Samson slaying a Philistine
Oil on canvas, c.195 x 99 cm
Purchased, 1874; de-accessioned and sold at auction, 1941
Unidentified, present location unknown

A large work, this canvas showed “two life-size figures,” according to the gallery’s annual report for 1872; it was listed in NGV 1894, but not the 1905 catalogue.

Frost, a noted history painter, was a follower of William Etty (1787-1849). Boase mentions that he was awarded a prize in the first competition to select painters to decorate the new Houses of Parliament in London in 1843.

[comparative reproduction below: Frost’s Una among the Fauns and Wood Nymphs 1847 (British Royal Collection)]


AR 1874, p.35 (as measuring 77” x 39”); SB, p.304 (with added note re the auction in Oct.1941); NGV 1894, p.125 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 8th bay, no.11); not listed in NGV 1905 

For Frost, see Bénézit 5, pp.1144-45; AKL 45 (2005), p.477;; and Boase (1954), pp.325-26 (discussing his work for the Houses of Parliament: for full details of this reference, see the main Bibliography for this website). For the painting shown here, see (accessed 25 Jan.2020)  

For Etty, see Hoff (1995), pp.101-2 (discussing two of his works acquired by the NGV in 1939 and 1941)