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
- George Scharf (father)
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.
- 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