Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener

1 portrait

Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, by Sir Hubert von Herkomer, and  Frederick Goodall, 1890 - NPG 1782 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener

by Sir Hubert von Herkomer, and Frederick Goodall
oil on canvas, 1890
55 in. x 43 in. (1397 mm x 1092 mm)
Given by Pantaleone Constantine ('Pandeli') Ralli, 1916
Primary Collection
NPG 1782


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There can be no more marked contrast between…

Sitterback to top

Artistsback to top

  • Frederick Goodall (1822-1904), Painter. Artist associated with 3 portraits, Sitter in 12 portraits.
  • Sir Hubert von Herkomer (1849-1914), Painter and illustrator. Artist associated with 47 portraits, Sitter in 11 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Kitchener was the epitome of the successful imperialist general. He served under Wolseley in the relief expedition to Gordon in Khartoum, and subsequently commanded armies in Egypt and the Sudan. His reputation for invincibility was later enhanced by his victories during the Boer War. Kitchener made the transition from active command in the field to military administration with great aplomb. It was he who was chiefly responsible for converting the small British army into a military machine of three million men during the early years of the First World War, and is remembered for his slogan 'Your country needs you'. This portrait by Herkomer was painted shortly after a successful campaign against the Dervishes and shows Kitchener, who wears the drill khakis of a Colonel of the Royal Engineers, standing before Cairo. Presented by P. Ralli, 1916.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Funnell, Peter (introduction); Marsh, Jan, A Guide to Victorian and Edwardian Portraits, 2011, p. 57
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 356
  • Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 108

Placesback to top

  • Place portrayed: Egypt (Cairo)

Events of 1890back to top

Current affairs

William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, publishes In Darkest England, in which he compares the supposedly 'civilised' England with 'Darkest Africa'. A critique of the degenerate state of society, Booth also proposed social welfare schemes to alleviate the sufferings of the urban poor. The world's first electric underground railway opens to the public in London, passing under the Thames and linking the City of London and Stockwell.

Art and science

William Morris founds the Kelmscott Press, a revival of art and craft techniques of book printing. Publications included The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (1896), with decorative designs and typeface by Morris and illustrations by Edward Burne-Jones. Vincent Van Gogh dies after shooting himself in the chest in Auvers-sur-Oise, France. Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray first appears in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine .

International

Cecil Rhodes, organiser of the diamond-mining De Beers Consolidated Mines, becomes premier of Cape Colony as part of his expansionist aims in South Africa. In Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II dismisses Otto von Bismarck. An international anti-slavery conference is held in Brussels, leading to the signing of a treaty by all the major maritime nations covering action to be taken against the trade in Africa and suppression of it by sea.

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