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Virginia Woolf

2 of 63 portraits of Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf, by George Charles Beresford, July 1902 - NPG P221 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Virginia Woolf

by George Charles Beresford
platinum print, July 1902
6 in. x 4 1/4 in. (152 mm x 108 mm)
Purchased, 1983
Primary Collection
NPG P221

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This photograph was taken in July 1902, when Virginia Woolf (Virginia Stephen as she was then) was just embarking on her career as a writer and when the photographer George Charles Beresford had recently set up a commercial studio in Yeoman's Row, off the Brompton Road. Since her father, Sir Leslie Stephen and her sister, Vanessa, were photographed at the same time, one may presume that the idea was Sir Leslie's. Apparently six photographs were taken of Sir Leslie, fourteen of Virginia and an unspecified number of Vanessa. The result, so far as Virginia was concerned, was remarkable, showing her looking pale and contemplative and emphasizing her beautiful liquid eyes and strong aquiline features.

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