The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Search the Collection

Sir Desmond MacCarthy

(1877-1952), Writer and critic

Sitter in 23 portraits
Literary journalist. A gifted conversationalist, he was a member of the Apostles at Trinity College, Cambridge and began his journalistic career as a contributor to The Spectator. He was a friend of Bertrand Russell, Thomas Hardy and Henry James, and was invited by Roger Fry to become secretary for the first Post-Impressionist exhibition. Although he refused to see himself as a member of Bloomsbury, he was a founding member of the Memoir Club in 1920, and a regular at Fitzroy Square parties. His output as a critic was prolific and highly respected.

More on Sir Desmond MacCarthy: The Bloomsbury Group book in our Shops

Tell us More

1 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close

List Thumbnail

Sir Desmond MacCarthy, by Robin Craig Guthrie - NPG 3936

Sir Desmond MacCarthy

by Robin Craig Guthrie
pencil, 1938
NPG 3936

Sir Desmond MacCarthy, by Duncan Grant - NPG 4468

Sir Desmond MacCarthy

by Duncan Grant
pencil, circa 1938
NPG 4468

Sir Desmond MacCarthy, by Duncan Grant - NPG 5024

Sir Desmond MacCarthy

by Duncan Grant
oil on canvas, circa 1942
NPG 5024

The Memoir Club, by Vanessa Bell - NPG 6718

The Memoir Club

by Vanessa Bell
oil on canvas, circa 1943
NPG 6718

Sir Desmond MacCarthy, by Duncan Grant - NPG 4842

Sir Desmond MacCarthy

by Duncan Grant
oil on canvas, 1944
NPG 4842

Sir Desmond MacCarthy, by Lady Ottoline Morrell - NPG Ax141474

Sir Desmond MacCarthy

by Lady Ottoline Morrell
vintage snapshot print, 1923
NPG Ax141474

Sir Desmond MacCarthy, by Lady Ottoline Morrell - NPG Ax141693

Sir Desmond MacCarthy

by Lady Ottoline Morrell
vintage snapshot print, 5 July 1923
NPG Ax141693

Sir Desmond MacCarthy, by Lady Ottoline Morrell - NPG Ax143219

Sir Desmond MacCarthy

by Lady Ottoline Morrell
vintage snapshot print, 1929
NPG Ax143219

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.


Become a Member

Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more

Join today

Get social

Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.

Facebook Instagram Twitter


Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.

Sign up