Thomas Hardy

1 portrait on display in Room 28 at the National Portrait Gallery

Thomas Hardy, by William Strang, 1893 - NPG 2929 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Thomas Hardy

by William Strang
oil on panel, 1893
17 in. x 15 in. (432 mm x 381 mm)
Bequeathed by the sitter's widow, Florence Emily Hardy (née Dugdale), 1938
Primary Collection
NPG 2929


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Sitterback to top

  • Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), Novelist and poet. Sitter in 59 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • William Strang (1859-1921), Painter and etcher. Artist associated with 65 portraits, Sitter in 11 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The Scottish etcher William Strang studied at the Slade under Alphonse Legros in the late 1870s and only took up painting seriously in the 1890s when he came under the influence of Whistler. This small early sketch of Thomas Hardy, one of the last great novelists of the nineteenth century, was bequeathed to the Gallery by Hardy's widow in 1938. William Rothenstein described Hardy as having 'a small dark bilberry eye which he cocked at you unexpectedly . He was so quiet and unassuming, he somehow put me in mind of a dew-pond on the Downs.' This portrait is framed in small-scale reeded 'Whistler' cushion frame of a type still being used by Whistler in the 1890s.

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