William Makepeace Thackeray(1811-1863), Novelist
Sitter in 42 portraits
Artist of 2 portraits
A novelist known for his satirical works, Thackeray studied law and art before taking up writing professionally as a journalist for a variety of publications, including Fraser's Magazine and Punch. His feature, Jeames' Diary, for Punch attracted much attention with its focus on the theme of English snobbery. He achieved more widespread success with Vanity Fair (1847-8), which told the story of social climber Becky Sharp and satirised London's nouveau riche and upper class society. Pendennis (1848-50) and The Newcomes (1855) confirmed his status as a major novelist. Following his unexpected death at the age of fifty-two, an estimated 7,000 people attended his funeral.
More on William Makepeace Thackeray: Charles Dickens and his Circle book in our Shops
- Anne Isabella (née Thackeray), Lady Ritchie (daughter)
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.