Sir Edward Elgar, Bt(1857-1934), Composer and conductor
Sitter in 19 portraits
Largely self-taught, Elgar came to prominence in the 1890s with high-profile commissions including the Imperial March for Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee (1897). His international breakthrough came with the orchestral Enigma Variations, 1899, a series of musical portraits of his wife and friends. His reputation as a leading British composer was confirmed the following year with The Dream of Gerontius. Other works include the Pomp and Circumstance marches, 1901-7, the Violin Concerto, 1910, and the Cello Concerto, 1919, compositions which have won him renewed popularity and a vast audience in the twenty first century. He was knighted in 1904 and appointed Master of the King's Music in 1924.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
after Samuel Begg
relief halftone, published 24 October 1908
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.