7 of 82 portraits of Thomas Carlyle
by Julia Margaret Cameron
albumen print, printed in reverse, 1867
13 1/4 in. x 11 1/4 in. (337 mm x 286 mm)
Given by Alfred Jones, 1922
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Historian and essayist. Sitter associated with 82 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), Pioneer photographer. Artist associated with 113 portraits, Sitter in 8 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The idea that learning about the lives of the famous could make us feel good about ourselves and our history, was taken up in an extraordinary way by the British historian Thomas Carlyle. He was also fascinated by faces and believed that a portrait was worth half a dozen biographies. Carlyle imagined that people would be uplifted by spending time in the company of the 'greats'. This Victorian ideal was behind the establishment of the National Portrait Gallery.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Funnell, Peter (introduction); Marsh, Jan, A Guide to Victorian and Edwardian Portraits, 2011, p. 47
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 137
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 137
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 104
- Truss, Lynn, Tennyson and his Circle, 2015, p. 56
- Truss, Lynne, Character Sketches: Tennyson and His Circle, 1999, p. 28
Events of 1867back to top
Current affairsThe Second Reform Act, although effectively a Liberal measure, is expediently passed by the Conservatives, under Disraeli's influence, who believed it would widen Conservative appeal by making the party appear more progressive. The Act extended the vote to 1.5 million working men in British towns, and redistributed 52 seats from towns with populations under 10,000 to the newer urban towns.
Art and scienceKarl Marx publishes his hugely influential Das Kapital, whilst living and researching in London. Its proclaimed aim was 'to lay bare the economic law of motion of modern society', and it presented mid-Victorian capitalism in terms of a tragic drama. Henry Irving rises to fame on the London stage, performing alongside Ellen Terry for the first time, beginning their famous theatrical association.
InternationalFrancis Joseph, the Emperor of Austria, becomes King of Hungary, and thus ruler of the 'dual monarchy' of Austria-Hungary. The dominion of Canada is formed, as the British North America Act unites four British colonies, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. The Act defines much of Canada's constitution and operation of government, and Canada's dominion status is the first of its kind.
Exhibitions and displays
- A Century of Photography, 1840-1940
Until 1 October 2017