Elizabeth Gaskell

1 portrait

Elizabeth Gaskell, by George Richmond, 1851 - NPG 1720 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Elizabeth Gaskell

by George Richmond
chalk, 1851
24 1/4 in. x 18 3/4 in. (616 mm x 476 mm)
Bequeathed by the sitter's daughter, Margaret Emily Gaskell, 1913
Primary Collection
NPG 1720


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Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • George Richmond (1809-1896), Portrait painter and draughtsman; son of Thomas Richmond. Artist associated with 325 portraits, Sitter in 14 portraits.

This portraitback to top

George Richmond was a leading portraitist, who made simple, but fine, chalk portraits of many celebrities of the day. Gaskell sat for her portrait while in London to see the Great Exhibition of 1851. She believed it to be a good likeness, noting in a letter 'I think it is like me; I hope Papa will think so but I am almost doubtful.'

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Events of 1851back to top

Current affairs

A population census is taken of all the people living in Britain, recording details about every householder on the night of March 30. This census greatly extends the fields of the 1841 census, being the first to record full details of individuals' birth locations, exact age, marital status, and details of disability, thus making it a valuable tool for demographers and genealogists. The census was made open for public inspection in 1912.

Art and science

The Great Exhibition is held in London,at the Crystal Palace, especially designed by Sir Joseph Paxton. The international exhibition was designed to showcase the best in science, art and industry. it attracted millions of visitors. Lizzie Siddal poses for John Millais's painting Ophelia. Hermann von Helmotz invents the ophthalmoscope, making it possible for doctors to examine within a patient's eye.

International

Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, President of the French Republic, stages a coup d'état, successfully dissolving the French National Assembly without having the constitutional right to do so. Now the sole ruler of France, he re-establishes universal suffrage, previously abolished by the Assembly and becomes 'Napoléon III, Emperor of the French'.

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