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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

2 of 7 portraits of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, by Michele Gordigiani, 1858 - NPG 1899 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

by Michele Gordigiani
oil on canvas, 1858
29 in. x 23 in. (737 mm x 584 mm)
Given by Florence Barclay, 1921
Primary Collection
NPG 1899

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Mrs Browning, like her husband, was a poet and her portrait was painted as a companion piece to that of her husband. According to a label on the back of the frame, it was done 'expressly for Sophia May Eckley and pronounced by Robert Browning to be the best Portrait ever taken of the Poetess' ; but at the time, Robert Browning was not convinced that it was a good likeness and wrote to Mrs Eckley that 'The portrait is not perfect certainly; the nose seems over long and there are some other errors in the face; also, the whole figure gives the idea of a larger woman than Ba'. It shows Elizabeth Barrett Browning looking dark-haired and intense and it is perhaps not surprising to learn that Mrs Eckley had introduced her at this time to spiritualism.

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  • NPG 1898: Robert Browning (companion portrait)

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