18 People in sitter grouping:
The onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and subsequent war between England and France (1803-1815), was a catalyst for a group of poets to retreat into their inner feelings and imagination. As Napoleon swept across Europe, poets responded to changing political and social conditions, placing intuition over reason and the individual over the general. Favouring the pastoral instead of the urban and drawing on their inner visions, the Romantic poets became recognised as a group surprisingly quickly and included women. The romantic idea of the ephemeral genius, doomed to remain unacknowledged became true for many of the poets, who remained unrecognised in their lifetimes. Many of William Blake's seminal works sold less than 30 copies in his own lifetime. George Gordon Byron was one of the few to achieve fame before his death in 1824. After the end of the war in 1815, many poets fled to the Mediterranean, where travel and exploration became distinct aspects of their lives and artistic output.
Visionary poet and painter
Sitter in 10 portraits | Artist associated with 5 portraits
Sitter in 20 portraits
Writer; author of 'Confessions of an Opium Eater'
Sitter in 4 portraits
Philosopher and novelist
Sitter in 13 portraits
Essayist, journalist and critic
Sitter in 5 portraits | Artist of 1 portrait
Sitter in 15 portraits | Artist associated with 2 portraits
Novelist and poet; second wife of John Opie
Sitter in 8 portraits | Artist associated with 1 portrait
Known as 'Perdita'; writer, actress and mistress of the future George IV
Sitter in 12 portraits
Novelist and poet
Sitter associated with 47 portraits
Sitter associated with 9 portraits
Writer and feminist
Sitter in 6 portraits
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.