by James Sant
oil on canvas, exhibited 1886
43 1/4 in. x 33 1/2 in. (1099 mm x 851 mm)
Bequeathed by Rolf, Baron Cederström, 1948
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Adelina Patti (1843-1919), Singer; sister of Carlotta Patti. Sitter associated with 55 portraits.
Artistback to top
- James Sant (1820-1916), Painter. Artist associated with 12 portraits, Sitter in 15 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The Italian opera singer Adelina Patti, the last of the line of great coloratura sopranos, made her London debut on 14 May 1861 at the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden, as Amina in Bellini's La Sonnambula. In this and other roles, particularly that of Rosina in The Barber of Seville, she delighted audiences throughout Europe and in North and South America. Her public career lasted nearly sixty years and is virtually without parallel.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 84
- John Cooper, National Portrait Gallery Visitor's Guide, 2006, p. 84
- Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 213
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 186
- Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 189
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 484
Events of 1886back to top
Current affairsThe 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 scienceThe 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.
InternationalThe 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.
See this portrait
On display in Room 22 at the National Portrait Gallery
- Portrait of the Day: Adelina Patti
26 September, 12:30