Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

1 portrait

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, by Richard Rothwell, exhibited 1840 - NPG 1235 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

by Richard Rothwell
oil on canvas, exhibited 1840
29 in. x 24 in. (737 mm x 610 mm)
Bequeathed by the sitter's daughter-in-law, Jane, Lady Shelley, 1899
Primary Collection
NPG 1235

Click on the links below to find out more:

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Richard Rothwell (1800-1868), Painter. Artist associated with 11 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

Mary Shelley, the daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1814 and became his second wife in 1816. Her Frankenstein of 1818, written at Lord Byron's suggestion, is one of the finest examples of the Gothic novel in English. The papier-mâché frame to this portrait is by C.F. Bielefeld and was made by applying seven different types of ornament to a supporting wooden framework. It probably dates to the mid-nineteenth century, at which period the frames on the portraits of her parents were changed to match.

Linked publicationsback to top

Subjects & Themesback to top

Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your nameclose

If you tick permission to publish your name will appear above your contribution on our website.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.