Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl Stanhope(1805-1875), Historian; founding member and first chairman of the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery and Conservative politician; MP for Hertford
Sitter in 23 portraits
Philip Stanhope was a historian, politician and one of the founding trustees of the National Portrait Gallery acting as its Chairman for its first twenty years. With the wealth provided by his father, raised through the profits from a sugar plantation in the then slave colony of Jamaica, he spent much of his early life travelling throughout Europe, only later entering politics through the encouragement of his father. During his political career, he was also a prolific historian and biographer. Philip was wary of political office, declining several cabinet positions including the Duchy of Lancaster. Towards the end of his career he progressed into the Lords where he moved a motion in 1856 to create ‘a Gallery of the Portraits of the most eminent Persons in British History'. Subsequently, the National Portrait Gallery was formed.
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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.