John Newman

1 portrait

John Newman, by Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt, 1881 - NPG 5295 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

John Newman

by Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt
oil on canvas, 1881
47 3/4 in. x 37 1/2 in. (1213 mm x 953 mm)
Accepted in lieu of tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Gallery, 1980
Primary Collection
NPG 5295


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A leading figure in the Oxford Movement with John Keble and Edward Bouverie Pusey, Newman came increasingly to doubt the Anglican position and converted to Catholicism. He was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1847. Gladstone said of his conversion: 'it has never yet been estimated at anything like the full amount of its calamitous importance'; and it certainly kept Newman in the public eye. He published his autobiographical Apologia Pro Vita Sua, in 1864, and was elevated to cardinal in 1879. At the end of the century, Newman, who was painted by Millais in his cardinal's robes, was acknowledged as one of the greatest churchmen and theological thinkers of the age.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG Ax27834: Thomas Oldham Barlow (appears within the portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Foister, Susan, Cardinal Newman 1801-90, 1990 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 March - 20 May 1990), p. 39
  • Funnell, Peter; Warner, Malcolm, Millais: Portraits, 1999 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 19 February to 6 June 1999), p. 159
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 457

Events of 1881back to top

Current affairs

Benjamin Disraeli dies of bronchitis. He refuses a state funeral and is buried next to his wife, Mary Ann Viscountess Beaconsfield. Gladstone's Irish Land Act is passed in a bid to stop violence carried out by the republican Land League, conducted in protest at the 1870 Land Act. Henry Mayers Hyndman forms the Marxist Democratic Federation.

Art and science

The Natural History Museum is opened on Exhibition Road, South Kensington. The museum, a landmark gothic design by the architect Alfred Waterhouse, was built to house specimens from the natural sciences, previously in the British Museum's collection. Today, the museum comprises of over 70 million items, and is a world-renowned research centre.

International

Alexander II is assassinated in a bomb attack by members of a left-wing revolutionary movement. He was succeeded by his son, Tsar Alexander III. US President James Garfield is shot by Charles Guiteau. The first Anglo-Boer war ends. The war is started by a Boer uprising, as the British had annexed the Transvaal in 1877. Following Britain's defeat at the Battle of Majuba Hill, a truce is signed giving the Boers self-government and later independence.

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