2 of 95 portraits of Charles Dickens
by Daniel Maclise
oil on canvas, 1839
36 in. x 28 1/8 in. (914 mm x 714 mm)
Lent by Tate Gallery: London: UK, 1954
Click on the links below to find out more:
Artistback to top
- Daniel Maclise (1806-1870), History and portrait painter. Artist associated with 107 portraits, Sitter associated with 17 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Dickens and Maclise had become close friends the summer before this portrait was painted. Dickens recorded in a letter of 28 June 1839 that 'Maclise has made another face of me, which all people say is astonishing'.
Related worksback to top
Linked publicationsback to top
- National Portrait Gallery: 100 Portraits, p. 69
- Audio Guide
- Victorian Portraits Resource Pack, p. 9
- Cooper, John, A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery, 2009, p. 41
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 76
- Funnell, Peter, Victorian Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1996, p. 9
- Funnell, Peter (introduction); Marsh, Jan, A Guide to Victorian and Edwardian Portraits, 2011, p. 36
- Lucinda Hawksley, Charles Dickens and his Circle, 2016, p. 4
- Ormond, Richard, Early Victorian Portraits, 1973, p. 139
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 171
- Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 173
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 122
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 178
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 137
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1839back to top
Current affairsThe Bedchamber crisis strains relations between the government and the monarchy, after Queen Victoria refuses to dismiss her Whig-appointed ladies of the bedchamber at the request of the new, Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel. Peel resigns and Melbourne returns as Prime Minister. The Grand National is first held at the Aintree race course, won by the horse Lottery, and the first Henley Royal Regatta, the rowing event, is held on the Thames.
Art and scienceThe French and British scientists Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot separately publicise their experiments with the new form of photography. The prolific journalist Harriet Martineau publishes her three decker novel Deerbrook, the story of middle class country life.
InternationalThe first Opium War with China is sparked after the British government refuses to try six British soldiers accused of killing a Chinese man protecting a temple from looters. Relations were strained as Britain had promoted the drug opium in China to boost trade. Winning the war, Britain secured vital trading rights. African captives aboard the Spanish ship La Amistad revolt, resulting in a highly publicised court case.
See this portrait
On display in Room 24 at the National Portrait Gallery