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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

William Frend De Morgan (1839-1917), Artist, potter and novelist

By other artists
Undated portrait
Posthumous portrait
Undated photographs

Self-portraitback to top

Pen and ink caricature drawing, in letter to Margaret Burne-Jones, dated 17 Aug. 1880, elongated whole-length, with oars; untraced. Repr. Stirling 1922, p.124.

By other artistsback to top

late 1870s
Pen and ink caricature drawing by Philip Burne-Jones, whole-length, seen from behind in front of easel, holding mahlstick, with Edward Burne-Jones; priv. coll. Exh. The Poetry of Drawing, Birmingham MAG and AG of New S Wales, Sydney, 2011 (105); repr. Cruise 2011, p.117, fig.150.

Oil on canvas, 394 x 292mm, by Evelyn De Morgan, signed and dated and inscr. ‘William de Morgan / Florence 1893 / EDeM fecit’, head-and-shoulders to front; coll. DMF, London. Repr. Gordon 1996, no.40, pl.55; exh. and repr. Marsh & Nunn 1997, no.63 (ill. p.38, described on p.141 as an ‘improbably elfin’ appearance for a man aged 54).

Chalk drawing by Evelyn De Morgan, head-and-shoulders to front; untraced. Repr. Apollo, Jan. 1967, p.34; Hamilton 1997 after p.114.

Pencil drawing by James Kerr-Lawson; see NPG 2116.

Oil on canvas by Evelyn De Morgan; see NPG 6358.

Lithograph, 320 x 216mm, by James Kerr-Lawson (after NPG 2116 above, image reversed), head, profile to right; colls NG Canada, NGC.831 acquired 1913; BM, London, 1909,0901.11. Exh. and repr. Lamb 1983, no.40; repr. Saturday Night (Toronto), 5 June 1926, p.3.

Chalk drawing by Theodore Blake Wirgman, signed and dated 28 Aug. 1915, inscr. lower right ‘William de Morgan’, head-and-shoulders, near-profile to left; untraced; offered to NPG 1946.

Undated portraitback to top

?Oil by unidentified artist, head-and-shoulders to left; untraced. Seen unframed on a display easel in colour photograph of interior of Old Battersea House ‘in Mrs Stirling’s time’; repr. Hamilton 1997, after p.50 (photograph credit DMF, London).

Posthumous portraitback to top

Plaster medallion by Ethel A.C. Harris, head-and-shoulders, profile to right, embossed ‘William de Morgan. Potter & Author. 1839–1917’; untraced. Possibly exh. RA (the artist being in 1919 and 1921 represented by a case or group of medals); repr. Spink 1928, no.77 and pl.XXXI.

Photographsback to top

Photograph by unidentified photographer, nearly whole-length to front, seated with brothers Edward and George. Repr. Stirling 1922, facing p.56; Hamilton 1997, after p.114.

possibly 1880s
Photograph by unidentified photographer, head-and-shoulders to front, wearing tweed suit and loosely knotted striped tie. Repr. Stirling 1922, facing p.78.

Sepia albumen cabinet photograph, 139 x 102mm (image size), by Luigi Montabone, Florence, vignette, head-and-shoulders to front; colls NPG x1348 (with sitter’s signature); and The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.298 (unsigned).
A companion cabinet photograph of Evelyn De Morgan by Montabone is signed and dated 1898.

before 1908
Photograph attributed to William Heinemann; whole-length profile to left, seated with hands clasped around right knee, in studio with a bas-relief of putti on the easel and large ceramic vase; repr. Stoker 1908, p.10338. Ref. Hamilton 1997 p.154.

Photogravure, 209 x 162mm, by Alvin Langdon Coburn, 21 July 1908, head-and-shoulders to front; colls NPG Ax7788, NPG X87254; HRHRC, U. of Texas, 964:0065:0021; and elsewhere. Repr. Coburn 1913, pl.21 with facsimile signature on mount.
Proof print, 250 x 188mm, with sitter’s name in pencil; untraced, formerly Roy Davids Coll. Repr. Bonhams, 3 October 2005 (186) and 29 Mar. 2011 (279).
Coburn (1913, pp.25–6) left an account of the photo session:

This same year I also made my portrait of William de Morgan. He lived at the charming bit of old Chelsea ‘The Vale’ leading off King’s Road, now, alas! no more. It was like being in the country, with grass and trees and birds, and I made the portraits in the garden. The distant rumble of traffic was all that told you that you were within many miles of a great city. It made a perfect background for the author of ‘Alice for Short’ and I lingered on and talked through a drowsy summer afternoon, and was shown exquisite examples of glazes, for, as most people know, de Morgan was a potter before he became, quite by chance, an author in the autumn of his life.

before 1910
Photograph by unidentified photographer, whole-length, seated, wearing straw hat, in garden of 1 The Vale, Chelsea, with his wife; The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.932. Repr. Stirling 1922, facing p.347; Hamilton 1997, after p.114.

Photograph by unidentified photographer, half-length, looking to front, seated back-to-back with wife Evelyn in garden at 1 The Vale, Chelsea; coll. DMF, London. Repr. Hamilton 1997, after p.114.

Photogravure, 140 x 100mm, by Killick & Co., inscr. on reverse ‘Love and best wishes to Mrs & H. Holiday from Molly de M. Xmas 1911’, half-length, to front, seated next to his sister Mary (Molly) De Morgan; The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.3719.

Photograph by unidentified photographer, whole-length, seated with wife Evelyn in gondola, Venice; colls DMF, London; The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.3718. Repr. Hamilton 1997, after p.114, where captioned ‘William and Evelyn leaving Venice for the last time. Taken in Venice in 1914.’

Photograph by Ethel Glazebrook (later Smith), re-photographed by Emery Walker, head-and-shoulders, profile to right; NPG x68905. Repr. Stirling 1922, frontispiece (where captioned ‘Aetat 76’); Hamilton 1997, after p.114 (where dated ‘1886’).

Bromide print, 147 x 104mm, by Walter Stoneman for James Russell & Sons (NPR), head-and-shoulders, to left, wearing tweed overcoat; colls NPG Ax39113; The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.1164.

Undated photographsback to top

Carte-de-visite, 102 x 64mm, by the London School of Photography, whole-length, standing in photographer’s studio beside chair with left hand resting on hip and right hand against edge of table; The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.46.

Photograph, 171 x 112mm in oval mount, by Schemboche, Rome, head-and-shoulders, profile to left, with goatee beard; The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.297.

Photographs by unidentified photographer, taken in a garden probably in London:
(a) half-length to front, standing wearing cloth cap, in back row of group, between William Heinemann and Edmund Gosse and three seated women in front row; DMF, De Morgan Centre, London, PH-1065.
(b) whole-length profile to right, kneeling bareheaded with hands in prayer-mode, in group with Sarah Grand kneeling to left, William Heinemann standing on a wicker chair in centre, Edmund Gosse kneeling to right; DMF, De Morgan Centre, London, PH-0166.

Dr Jan Marsh