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Sir George Scharf

10 of 79 portraits of Sir George Scharf

Sir George Scharf, by Walter William Ouless, 1885 - NPG 985 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir George Scharf

by Walter William Ouless
oil on canvas, 1885
36 3/8 in. x 28 1/4 in. (923 mm x 716 mm) overall
Given by a number of friends, 1886
Primary Collection
NPG 985


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Sitterback to top

  • Sir George Scharf (1820-1895), Artist and art historian; first Director of the National Portrait Gallery. Sitter in 79 portraits, Artist associated with 80 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Walter William Ouless (1848-1933), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 40 portraits, Sitter in 11 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Scharf studied art under his father, the draughtsman and lithographer George Scharf, before entering the Royal Academy Schools in 1838. In the 1840s Scharf was twice commissioned as a draughtsman to travel to Asia Minor and, in the late 1840s and early 1850s, established himself as a leading book illustrator. Also a lecturer and an arts administrator, in 1857 Scharf was appointed as the secretary of the National Portrait Gallery. A diligent art historian, he became an authority on portraiture and in 1882 his title was changed to Director. This portrait of Scharf, who was rarely seen without a sketchbook, was made three years later and shows him sketching the artist as he works.

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