by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, circa 1758
35 1/2 in. x 42 in. (902 mm x 1067 mm)
Given by Sir Theodore Martin, 1881
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Sitterback to top
- Margaret ('Peg') Woffington (1720?-1760), Actress. Sitter associated with 20 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This unusual sick-bed portrait shows the celebrated Irish actress 'Peg' Woffington, after she collapsed on stage and was paralysed in 1757. During the previous twenty years she had made her name in comedy. She was notorious for bitter rivalries with other actresses - even stabbing one during a performance - and for her love affair with Britain's leading actor, David Garrick. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).
Linked publicationsback to top
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1758back to top
Current affairsComet observed in previous centuries returns exactly at the time predicted by astronomer Edmond Halley and is subsequently known by his name.
Art and scienceLiverpool-born artist George Stubbs sets up in London as a painter.
James Woodforde, an English country parson, begins a detailed diary of everyday life, which is later published as Diary of a Country Parson.
InternationalSeven Years' War: British General John Forbes captures the strategic French stronghold Fort Duquesne and renames it Pittsburgh after British Secretary of State, William Pitt the Elder. British troops capture Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.
Pope Clement XIII succeeds Pope Benedict XIV as the 248th pope.
Exhibitions and displays
- Framing the Face: Collars and Ruffs
Until 16 July
- Life, Death and Memory
Until 16 March 2018
- Reproducing Fame: Printmakers and the Nineteenth Century Stage
Until 31 July