Sir George Scharf(1820-1895), Artist and art historian; first Director and later trustee of the National Portrait Gallery
Sitter in 79 portraits
Artist associated with 587 portraits
Artist and art historian; appointed first Secretary of the National Portrait Gallery in 1857 and Director in 1882. Scharf studied art under his father, the draughtsman and lithographer George Scharf, before entering the Royal Academy Schools in 1838. In the 1840s Scharf was twice commissioned as a draughtsman to travel to Asia Minor and, in the late 1840s and early 1850s, established himself as a leading book illustrator. Scharf devoted nearly 40 years to researching and identifying authentic portraits of significant historical figures and became an authority on portraiture.
More on Scharf: Sir George Scharf sketchbooks
by Henry Jamyn Brooks
oil on canvas, 1889
- George Scharf (father)
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.
- Handlist of names in the Reference Collection - M-Z
- Photographic holdings - Albums 76-162
- Gallery history
- Sir George Scharf
- The Beautiful and the Damned
- Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue
- 150 Years: The National Portrait Gallery
- Self image: making a self-portrait (2)
- Self image: basic materials and techniques (2)
- Perspective: Seeing where you stand
- Explore the portraits and room in the Private View of the Old Masters Exhibition at the Royal Academy