© National Portrait Gallery, London
Sir Edmund William Gosse
by John Singer Sargent Click on the links below to find out more
oil on canvas, 1886
21 1/2 in. x 17 1/2 in. (546 mm x 445 mm)
Given by Clement Valentine Parsons, 1928
- John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), Portrait and landscape painter and muralist. Artist associated with 72 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.
Gosse and Sargent first met in 1885 at Broadway in Worcestershire, where both were part of a summer community of artists and writers. This portrait was apparently given by Sargent to his fellow painter, Alfred Parsons, also a member of the Broadway set.
The Liberals win the election after the Irish Nationalists, including John Dillon, side with them over Home Rule, and Gladstone resumes the seat of Prime Minister. The failure of the first Home Rule Bill divides the Liberal party; those opposed to Home Rule break away to form the Liberal Unionist Party, supporting the Conservatives. This results in a Liberal loss at an emergency election called, and the Marquess of Salisbury becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
Art and science
The Severn Tunnel is opened, freeing up the route between London and South Wales. Pears' soap company buy the copyright to John Millais's painting Bubbles
, using it in an iconic and enduringly recognisable advertisement. Millais, however, attracted strong criticism from the art community, who protested against the debasement and commercialisation of art.
The American poet Emily Dickinson dies, aged 54. Dickinson wrote over 1,700 poems, which first came to light in 1890, and is recognised as one of America's most important writers. The Statue of Liberty, designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, is erected on Bedloe's island. The huge copper statue, a gift from the French to the United States to commemorate the centennial of American independence, is an iconic figure of liberty, and America itself.