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Mary Raleigh Richardson

(1889-1961), Suffragette and political activist

Sitter in 5 portraits
Richardson's attack on Velázquez's painting The Toilet of Venus (The Rokeby Venus) is the most famous act of destruction by a British Suffragette. An art student and journalist, she joined the movement in 1910 and was arrested nine times for acts of civil disobedience, and forcibly fed in prison. Richardson described her attack on the painting as a premeditated response to the re-arrest of Emmeline Pankhurst; 'I have tried to destroy the picture of the most beautiful woman in mythological history as a protest against the Government for destroying Mrs Pankhurst, who is the most beautiful character in modern history'.

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'Surveillance Photograph of Militant Suffragettes', by Criminal Record Office - NPG x132847

'Surveillance Photograph of Militant Suffragettes'

by Criminal Record Office
bromide print mounted onto identification sheet, 1914
NPG x132847

Mary Raleigh Richardson; Clara Mary Lambert (Catherine Wilson), by Unknown photographer - NPG x136416

Mary Raleigh Richardson; Clara Mary Lambert (Catherine Wilson)

by Unknown photographer
Criminal Record Office memorandum, Issued 24 April 1914
NPG x136416

Mary Raleigh Richardson, by Criminal Record Office - NPG x45559

Mary Raleigh Richardson

by Criminal Record Office
silver print mounted onto identification sheet, 1914
NPG x45559

Mary Raleigh Richardson, by Unknown photographer - NPG x32606

Mary Raleigh Richardson

by Unknown photographer
bromide print, circa 1918
NPG x32606

Mary Raleigh Richardson, by Unknown photographer - NPG x32607

Mary Raleigh Richardson

by Unknown photographer
bromide print, circa 1918
NPG x32607

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