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Room 21

Victorian Pioneers

The portraits in this room show pioneers of the Victorian age, from writers and artists to industrialists and campaigners. These figures lived through a time when Britain became the world’s leading industrial power. Innovations in engineering, technology and mass-production were transforming people’s lives, making it easier than ever to travel and access information, literature and images. However, huge disparity between men and women, colonizers and the colonized, the wealthy and the working classes remained. Many of the people in these portraits used their work and fame to hold up a mirror to society, celebrating its accomplishments while exposing inequality. Together, they reveal that the Victorians were interested in issues that remain alive today.

28 portraits on display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery

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Emily Brontë, by Patrick Branwell Brontë - NPG 1724

Emily Brontë

by Patrick Branwell Brontë
oil on canvas, arched top, circa 1833
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1724

Grace Darling, by David Dunbar - NPG 998

Grace Darling

by David Dunbar
marble bust, 1838
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 998

Charles Dickens, by Daniel Maclise - NPG 1172

Charles Dickens

by Daniel Maclise
oil on canvas, 1839
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1172

William Makepeace Thackeray, by Frank Stone - NPG 4210

William Makepeace Thackeray

by Frank Stone
oil on canvas, circa 1839
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4210

Queen Victoria, replica by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey - NPG 1716

Queen Victoria

replica by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey
marble bust, 1841, based on a work of 1839
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1716

Wilkie Collins, by Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt - NPG 967

Wilkie Collins

by Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt
oil on panel, 1850
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 967

James Scott Bowerbank, by Maull & Polyblank - NPG P106(4)

James Scott Bowerbank

by Maull & Polyblank
albumen print, arched top, circa 1855
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG P106(4)

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, by Robert Howlett - NPG P662

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

by Robert Howlett
albumen print, November 1857
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG P662

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, by Lewis Carroll - NPG P29

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

by Lewis Carroll
albumen print, 7 October 1863
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG P29

George Eliot, by Sir Frederic William Burton - NPG 669

George Eliot

by Sir Frederic William Burton
chalk, 1865
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 669

Richard Cobden, by Thomas Woolner - NPG 219

Richard Cobden

by Thomas Woolner
marble bust, 1866
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 219

Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Bt, by Julia Margaret Cameron - NPG P213

Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Bt

by Julia Margaret Cameron
albumen print, 1867
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG P213

Elizabeth Southerden (née Thompson), Lady Butler, by Elizabeth Southerden (née Thompson), Lady Butler - NPG 5314

Elizabeth Southerden (née Thompson), Lady Butler

by Elizabeth Southerden (née Thompson), Lady Butler
oil and pencil on card, 1869
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5314

Mary Seacole, by Albert Charles Challen - NPG 6856

Mary Seacole

by Albert Charles Challen
oil on panel, 1869
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6856

William Morris, by George Frederic Watts - NPG 1078

William Morris

by George Frederic Watts
oil on canvas, 1870
On display in Room 21 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1078