Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Entries continue to be researched and added to the Gallery’s Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue available on the website. The size of this part of the collection has guided our approach to researching the catalogue and the decision that this will be the first of the Gallery’s period catalogues to be published online. Rather than following an A-Z sequence, research has been conducted according to subject or vocational area. This will allow us to publish the catalogue in phased tranches which will be coherent in themselves.

The first three phases – entries on artists and art world figures, travellers and explorers and social reformers and philanthropists – are now online.  They include major names such as Julia Margaret Cameron and William Morris, Sir Richard Burton and H.M. Stanley, and Samuel Smiles and Octavia Hill.

The catalogue provides detailed accounts of the portraits of these individuals in the Gallery’s collection and comprehensive listings of other known portraits of them in all media. The catalogue therefore contributes to our understanding of portraiture during what was the first age of portrait photography and the mass dissemination of portrait images of the famous.

Work on medical figures has now begun thanks to generous support over two years from Alliance Boots.  Other areas of national life that we wish to catalogue are subject to funding:

  • Literature
  • Engineers
  • Scientists
  • Armed Forces
  • Politics and public life

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Aubrey Vincent Beardsley, by Frederick Henry Evans, circa 1894 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley
by Frederick Henry Evans
circa 1894
NPG P114