William Ewart Gladstone
2 of 5 portraits on display in Room 25 at the National Portrait Gallery
William Ewart Gladstone
by Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt
oil on canvas, 1879
49 1/2 in. x 36 in. (1257 mm x 914 mm)
Transferred from Tate Gallery: London: UK, 1957
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898), Prime Minister and writer. Sitter associated with 313 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt (1829-1896), Painter and President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 40 portraits, Sitter in 74 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Gladstone sat for five, one-hour sittings for this portrait, remarking in his diary of July 6, 1879 that Millais' 'ardour and energy about his picture inspire a strong sympathy'
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Victorian Portraits Resource Pack, p. 35
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 80
- Cooper, John, A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery, 2009, p. 42
- Funnell, Peter, Victorian Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1996, p. 35
- Funnell, Peter (introduction); Marsh, Jan, A Guide to Victorian and Edwardian Portraits, 2011, p. 54
- Funnell, Peter; Warner, Malcolm, Millais: Portraits, 1999 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 19 February to 6 June 1999), pp. 150 ; 166
- Livingstone, Natalie, author., The mistresses of Cliveden / Natalie Livingstone., 2015, p. 307
- Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 203
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 248
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 160
Events of 1879back to top
Current affairsWomen's education continues to grow, with the founding of women's colleges in Oxford. Somerville College took its name from the late Scottish scientific writer Mary Somerville. Lady Margaret Hall was founded by Elizabeth Wordsworth, great niece of the poet, and named after Margaret Beaufort, a medieval noblewoman and mother of Henry VII.
Art and scienceEdison invents the first practical electric light bulb.The first prehistoric paintings, dating back 14,000 years, are discovered in the Altamira caves in Northern Spain when a young girl notices paintings of bison on the ceilings. The French actress Sarah Bernhardt, already acclaimed for roles in plays such as Racine's Phèdre and Victor Hugo's Hernani, celebrates a successful season at London's Gaiety Theatre.
InternationalAnglo-Zulu war fought between British forces and the Zulus, after disputes between the Boers and Zulu leader Cetshywayo over the Utrecht border attracted British intervention. The British victory marked the end of the independent Zulu nation, although the Zulu's initial victory at Isandhlwana was a major surprise. The Battle of Rorke's Drift was dramatised in the film Zulu, starring Michael Caine, in 1964.
See this portrait
On display in Room 25 at the National Portrait Gallery