Sir William Schwenck Gilbert

1 portrait

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert, by Francis Montague ('Frank') Holl, 1886 - NPG 2911 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert

by Francis Montague ('Frank') Holl
oil on canvas, 1886
39 1/2 in. x 49 1/2 in. (1003 mm x 1257 mm)
Bequeathed by Sir William Schwenck Gilbert, 1937
Primary Collection
NPG 2911


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The rather gloomy appearance of this gentleman, with his military moustache, high-necked collar and hunting crop belies the fact that he was one half of the immortal partnership of Gilbert and Sullivan, responsible for some of Britain's greatest comic operas. Gilbert qualified for the bar but abandoned it to write libretti for Sir Arthur Sullivan's music. Their work included HMS Pinafore (1878), Iolanthe (1882), The Mikado (1885), and The Yeoman of the Guard (1888). In this portrait Gilbert, who was obliged to ride for two hours everyday in order to alleviate his gout, wears hunting dress.

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