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Charles Dickens

11 of 95 portraits of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens, by Harry Furniss, circa 1880-1910 - NPG 3566 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Charles Dickens

by Harry Furniss
pen and ink, circa 1880-1910
10 5/8 in. x 9 3/4 in. (270 mm x 248 mm)
Purchased, 1948
Primary Collection
NPG 3566

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  • Harry Furniss (1854-1925), Caricaturist. Artist associated with 435 portraits, Sitter in 13 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This drawing of a prostrate Dickens, which the Punch caricaturist Harry Furniss used to illustrate the chapter he wrote on the author in his book Some Victorian Men (1925), was inspired by popular reports of Dickens being worn out by his intensely emotional readings of Nancy's murder from Oliver Twist. Posthumously, Dickens was often portrayed with the characters he invented materialising around him. Here the murder scene appears on the wall behind, creating the effect of Bill Sikes clubbing the author himself. This motif reflected the commonly held belief that the overworked author's creative exertions had hastened his own death.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG 3565: Charles Dickens (variant version)

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