"...“Barnum in London,” a devastating work of nonfiction by Raymund Fitzimmons. It’s about two rival exhibits that opened in Piccadilly in 1846. The first was self-funded by an English artist named Benjamin Robert Haydon, who wanted to display his masterpiece, “The Banishment of Aristides,” a giant oil painting he’d been working on for years. The other exhibit was produced by P.T. Barnum and featured Tom Thumb, a popular child dwarf, who wore fun outfits and just kind of walked around the room. Haydon’s exhibit had 133 visitors, Barnum’s had 12,000, and two months later, Haydon killed himself. My heart broke for Haydon, especially since I know, with zero doubt, that if given the choice, I’d have gone to see Tom Thumb...."
courtesy: Blog "Victorian History"