Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour(1848-1930), Prime Minister and philosopher
Sitter in 138 portraits
Born at Whittingehame House, East Lothian and educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge; Balfour first made his mark as a philosopher, publishing A Defence of Philosophic Doubt in 1879; he entered politics in 1874 through the patronage of his uncle, Lord Salisbury, as a Conservative member for Hertford; succeeded Salisbury as Prime Minister in 1902 but was unable to keep together a party divided by issues of Free Trade and Protectionism and resigned in 1905; during the First World War he worked as First Lord of the Admiralty and, from 1916 to 1919, as Foreign Secretary; Balfour continued in politics until the age of eighty, having served for twenty-seven years as a member of the cabinet.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
by Sir Francis Carruthers Gould ('F.C.G.')
by London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company, published by Charles Newman & Co
by Benjamin Stone
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
Subjects and themes
Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!
Black History Month
Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.
A Picture of Health
Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.