The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Alfred Gilbert (1854-1934), Sculptor and goldsmith

Self-portrait
By other artists
Undated portrait
Posthumous portraits
Photographs

Self-portraitback to top


c.1912
Oil on canvas, half-length to right; Jean van Caloen Foundation, Loppem. Repr. Dorment et al. 1986, p.151, fig.52.[1]


By other artistsback to top


c.1880–85
Plaster bust painted black by Joseph Edgar Boehm; priv. coll.; given by Gilbert’s mother to Isabel McAllister; offered for sale to NPG 1942, declined.[2] Exh. RA 1888 (1970); repr. Dorment et al. 1986, p.43, fig.37.

c.1882–4
Oil sketch by J.M. Swain, whole-length, seated in studio in Rome; priv. coll. Repr. Hatton 1903, p.19; Dorment 1985, p.35, fig.14.[3]

1887
Pastel drawing by John McLure Hamilton; see NPG 1865.

1888
Oil on canvas by John Pettie, Portrait of Alfred Gilbert as a Cardinal; untraced; coll. A Yakovleff 1939.[4]

publ. 1888
Drawing by unidentified artist, possibly ‘J.H’ for The National Association for the Advancement of Art and its Application to Industry, half-length to right, addressing the Liverpool Congress, Dec. 1988 (no.3 on key); untraced. Repr. Graphic, 15 Dec. 1888, cover; and Dorment 1985, p.94, fig.51.
See also Alma-Tadema, Crane, Ford, Hunt, Leighton, W. Morris.

1890
Oil sketch, 432 x 330mm, by John Seymour Lucas, signed, inscr. and dated ‘Alfred Gilbert R.A. / a sketch from life / Seymour Lucas 1890’; untraced; Christie’s, 30 June 2005 (343, not ill.).

Oil on canvas by W.H. Bartlett, A Saturday Night at the Savage Club (also known as A Savage Club Saturday Night), head-and-shoulders, profile to left; coll. Savage Club, London. Engr. by C.E. Clifford & Co repr. AJ, 1890, p.218; Watson 1907, frontispiece (as ‘A Saturday Night at Lancaster House’, with key); Ward 1923, p.2 (Gilbert no.33 in key); and Bradshaw 1958, facing p.32 (as ‘A Savage Saturday Night at Lancaster House’). The portrait of Gilbert is based on the Hollyer profile photograph (see ‘1887(a)’ below).
See also Fildes, Furniss, Gregory, Irving, Spielmann, Woodall.

exh. 1891
Oil on canvas by John Seymour Lucas, three-quarter-length, seated to left in studio; Maharaja Fatesingh M., Baroda, India. Exh. RA 1891 (673); repr. Hatton 1903, p.19; McAllister 1929, facing p.121; Baroda 1981.[5]

1894–6
Oil on canvas by George Frederic Watts, half-length, profile to left; untraced; ‘given to Mrs Gilbert’. Exh. RA 1896 (90); repr. Hatton 1903, p.24.[6]

1894
Pencil drawing by Violet Granby, Duchess of Rutland of George Frederic Watts painting Gilbert; Jean van Caloen Foundation, Loppem. Repr. Dorment et al. 1986, no.122.

publ.1894
Design by Edward Tennyson Reed, for 'Prehistoric Peeps: Opening of the Primeval Royal Academy', signed, head-and-shoulders profile left 'spearing' George Frampton, bottom centre in gathering of 'cavemen' Royal Academicians in prehistoric dress, amongst wall painting exhibits; untraced. Repr. as an engr. Punch, 12 May 1894, p.226
See also Alma-Tadema, Calderon, Ford, Frampton, Gregory, Herkomer, Horsley, Leighton, Lucas, Marks, Millais, Moore, Orchardson, Poynter, Stone, Thornycroft.

c.1896
Ink and wash drawing by Max Beerbohm, whole-length to left; V&A, London, Circ. 687-1967. See Hart-Davis 1972, p.66 (no.578, not ill.).

exh. 1897
Oil sketch by Robert Walker Macbeth; untraced. Exh. RA 1897 (909).

c.1909
Oil on canvas by Francis Petrus Paulus, half-length to right, seated with statue of Victory; untraced. Repr. Studio, vol.48, 1910, p.98.[7]

1910
Etching by Francis Petrus Paulus, half-length, seated, profile to left; Detroit IA, 19.141.28.

1927–33
Four drawings by Georgina Beckett Terrell (née Koberwein), head-and-shoulders, various poses; untraced; three (dated 1927, 1928, 1933) offered to NPG in 1948 and declined (photographs NPG SB (Gilbert)). A fourth drawing (dated 1930), signed by the sitter, repr. Bury 1954, frontispiece.

publ. 1929
Pencil drawing by (John) Bernard Partridge; see NPG 4076.

1934
Oil on canvas by Arthur Trevithan Nowell, three-quarter-length, seated with statuette; untraced; formerly coll. Aldenham School, Elstree, Herts, stolen 2001. Exh. RA 1934 (307); repr. RA Illustrated 1934, p.94; Yorkshire Post, 5 Nov. 1934 (reporting Gilbert’s death).

Oil on canvas by Arthur Trevithan Nowell, half-length, seated; untraced; coll. the artist 1936, C. Denys Nowell 1944. Exh. RSPP 1935.[8]


Undated portraitback to top


Life mask by Albert Toft; priv. coll. Ref. Dorment 2004.[9]


Posthumous portraitsback to top


1936
Plaster bust by Albert Toft, half-length with statuette; untraced. Exh. RA 1936 (1559); repr. RA Illustrated 1936, p.124.[10]

Bronze bust by Albert Toft, half-length with statuette; RA, 03/3723.


Photographsback to top


c.1860
Photograph by unidentified photographer, whole-length, standing with his brother Gordon Gilbert; priv. coll. Repr. Dorment 1985, p.11, fig.1.

1887
Platinotype cabinet portraits by Frederick Hollyer, two known poses:
(a) head-and-shoulders, profile to left, wearing spotted bow tie; NPG x13183; print dated ‘1887’, V&A, London, 7738-1938, Hollyer album 2. Repr. as halftone, The Year’s Art 1889; wood-engr. by Paul Hermann Naumann repr. MA, 1889, p.37 (MEPL, London, 10061011); and as sketch, Pall Mall Budget, 17 Apr. 1890, p.498.
This is one of the primary images of Gilbert at the height of his fame.
(b) bust slightly to left, eyes facing, nearly full-face; V&A, London, 7739-1938, Hollyer album 2.

publ. 1887
Photograph by Elliott & Fry, head-and-shoulders, three-quarters to left. Repr. Hind 1926, facing p.122.[11]
This is one of the primary images of Gilbert at the height of his fame.

Albumen print, apparently another pose from Elliott & Fry sitting, head-and-shoulders, profile to left; coll. AWG, London, ‘Portraits of Old Brethren’, vol.2, p.21. Thumbnail sketch after this photograph repr. ‘The Pictures of 1892’, Pall Mall Gazette ‘Extra’, no.62, 2 May 1892, p.16.

reg. 1889
Platinum prints by Ralph Winwood Robinson, three known poses:
(a) whole-length, seated to right in studio, legs crossed, wearing hat, pipe in left hand; reg. for copyright 1889 Oct. 26: National Archives (COPY 1/398/119); colls NPG x7365; NMM, Bradford, 2003-5001_3_21635_53. Repr. Robinson [1892]; Dorment 1985, facing p.1; Dorment et al. 1986, facing p.9.
(b) whole-length, standing to right, working at a small sculpture on a stand; reg. for copyright 1889 Oct. 26: National Archives (COPY 1/398/120).
(c) whole-length, to left, leaning against upturned crate and working at a figure of Victory, rephotographed by Frederick Hollyer in 1892; V&A, London, 7737-1938, Hollyer album 2. Repr. Dorment 1985, frontispiece; Dorment et al. 1986, p.13.

late 1880s?
Platinum print by ?Frederick Hollyer, half-length, head to left, in white jacket and hat, holding modelling stick in right hand; V&A, London, 7736-1938.[12]

late 1880s–90s
Platinum print by Lord Battersea, whole-length, seated to left; NPG Ax15699.

c.1890–93
Family photographs of Gilbert and family, at Gravel Pits, Gomshall, Surrey; priv. coll. Repr. Dorment 1985, pp.87–8.

c.1891
Photograph by unidentified photographer, three-quarter-length, in studio with full-scale model for Eros. Repr. McAllister 1929, facing p.70, where captioned ‘1886’ although the bronze was not begun until May 1891 (Dorment 1985, p.111).

1906
Photograph by H. Walter Barnett, dated 16 Oct. 1906; Christie’s, 25 Sept. 1986 (181).

c.1906
Photograph by unidentified photographer, half-length to right, signed and dated June 1906; print Grundy AG, Blackpool. Repr. Dorment 1985, p.259.

c.1918
Photograph by Jules Danlos, half-length, head to right, in Brussels; copy photograph coll. Richard Dorment. Repr. Dorment 1985, p.296, fig.175.

1919
Photograph by unidentified photographer, three-quarter-length, seated with second wife Stéphanie Quaghebeur; priv. coll. Repr. Dorment 1985, p.296, fig.176.

1928[13]
Photograph by Frederick Hollyer, half-length, full-face, wearing a patterned cardigan and floppy bow tie. Repr. McAllister 1929, facing p.224; Daily Herald, 5 Nov. 1934 (reporting Gilbert’s death).

1930s
Photograph by unidentified photographer, head-and-shoulders to left, with hat. Repr. Dorment 1985, p.325, fig.193; Dorment et al. 1986, p.18, fig.10.

Photograph by unidentified press photographer, head-and-shoulders to left. Repr. Daily Sketch, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, 5 Nov. 1934 (reporting Gilbert’s death).

Footnotes
1) ‘In painting, Gilbert appeared to be somewhat limited […] it was an art that he could not do himself […] A self-portrait in oils that he showed me was lamentably weak in drawing.’ Bury 1954, p.57.
2) ‘Miss McAllister called to offer for sale a bust of the late Sir Alfred Gilbert done when he was 26 by Sir Edgar Boehm, R.A. The bust is in plaster and was given to Gilbert’s mother who gave it to Miss McAllister.’ ‘[IM] showed me the bust of Gilbert by Boehm and told me that Gilbert himself had told her that Boehm did it of him when he was 30 years of age.’ Henry Hake memorandums, 10 Dec. 1942 and 18 Jan. 1943, NPG NoS (Sir Alfred Gilbert).
3) Possibly the same as a painting owned by Miss McAllister ‘of Gilbert in his studio at Rome done by an artist called Challon. This she describes as being very small in scale.’ Henry Hake memorandum, 19 Jan. 1943, NPG NoS (Sir Alfred Gilbert).
4) ‘I take it it is of no use submitting this portrait to the N.P.G., especially as, I believe, Pettie did not even attempt to achieve exact likenesses in this type of work.’ Letter from A.Yakovleff to J. Steegman, 21 Mar. 1939, NPG NoS (Sir Alfred Gilbert).
5) In 1935 McAllister intended leaving the painting to the NPG: letters from I. McAllister to H. Hake, 27 Mar. 1935 and Apr. 26 1935, NPG NoS (Sir Alfred Gilbert).
6) MS catalogue of works by Watts compiled by Mary Seton Watts, Watts G., Compton, vol.2, p.58 (copy NPG AB (G.F. Watts); Gould 2004, pp.291, 306–7. In 1934 Gilbert reported to Arthur Nowell that the portrait by Watts ‘had always been regarded as a complete failure’: John Steegman memorandum, 1 July 1936, NPG NoS (Sir Alfred Gilbert).
7) ‘Francis Petrus Paulus, Gilbert’s friend in Bruges, did a characteristic oil-painting and a good etching’: Bury 1954, p.iii. ‘I asked Miss McAllister what other portraits of Alfred Gilbert she knew of and she told me that there was a painting by a Belgian artist friend of his called Paulus which is now in the art gallery at Detroit.’ Henry Hake memorandum, 19 Jan. 1943, NPG NoS (Sir Alfred Gilbert).
8) ‘We were great friends and I found out that there was no good portrait of [Gilbert] anywhere. I therefore got him to sit to me and did two different pictures of him with which he was delighted.’ Letter from A.T. Nowell to H. Hake, 19 Mar, 1936, NPG NoS (Sir Alfred Gilbert).
9) A descendent of Patrick Synge-Hutchinson (Toft’s studio assistant) has given Gilbert / Toft / Synge-Hutchinson studio material to the Henry Moore Inst., Leeds. Apparently this donation does not include a life mask.
10) ‘When Sir Alfred Gilbert died […] I decided to have a bronze bust executed of him. […] Since the completion of the bust I have heard only favourable comments, the striking likeness being especially remarked upon.’ Letter from J. Margaret Hadley to H. Hake, 26 June 1936, NPG NoS (Sir Alfred Gilbert).
11) Apparently related to a wood-engr. by Richard Taylor repr. ILN, 7 May 1887, p.515; ILN, 17 Dec. 1892, p.767.
12) The pose appears to belong to the Robinson sitting (see ‘All known portraits, Photographs, reg. 1889’ above), or to one close in date, although the print in the V&A Hollyer album is dated ‘1892’. It is unclear if the original photograph is by Hollyer or Robinson.
13) Dated in the caption in McAllister 1929, facing p.224.

Carol Blackett-Ord