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Peg Woffington

2 of 3 portraits on display on Floor 1: Lady Chesterfield's Room at Beningbrough Hall

Peg Woffington, by Unknown artist, circa 1758 - NPG 650 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Peg Woffington

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
Primary Collection
NPG 650


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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).

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