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Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon

(1827-1891), Artist and women's rights activist; benefactor of Girton College, Cambridge

Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 3 portraits
Born illegitimate to radical parents, she was artistic from an early age, taking lessons from painters and visiting J. M. W. Turner in his studio. She was passionately interested in the role of women. Her pamphlet Women and Work contributed towards the passing of the Married Women's Property Act (1857), giving wives greater financial protection. In the same year she visited Algiers to paint, and met her future husband, a French anthropologist and doctor. In London she had many creative friends, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Mary Ann Evans ('George Eliot'). She played a major role in founding Girton College, Cambridge. Her paintings were frequently exhibited and admired.

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Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, by Disdéri, copied by  Emery Walker Ltd - NPG x200062

Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon

by Disdéri, copied by Emery Walker Ltd
copy glass plate negative of an albumen carte-de-visite, circa 1860
NPG x200062

Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, after Samuel Laurence - NPG D31926

Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon

after Samuel Laurence
collotype, (1861)
NPG D31926

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