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Regency Portraits Catalogue

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), Writer and feminist; mother of Mary Shelley; wife of William Godwin

c.1785-90
Drawing for an oval miniature by James Sowerby was offered to the NPG in 1937, head and shoulders profile in a complicated hat inscribed: Miss Woolstonecraft Drawn by/a pupil of/Js Sowerby; a rectangular version with slightly different head-dress was offered at the same time, both from the Sowerby family.

c.1790
Portrait by unknown artist engraved in stipple by J. Chapman 'from an original Painting' published 1798, head and shoulders with long hair and high-crowned beaver hat of 1789-90.

1791
'Sitting for the picture' - an unidentified portrait perhaps by Fuseli is mentioned in Mary's letter to William Roscoe 6 October 1791.

1792-4
Physionotrace gravé par Roy/MARIE WOLLSTONECRAFT, a small oval profile with hair plaited in a chignon; Mary was in Paris December 1792 to April 1794.

1797
Death-mask mentioned by Charles Kegan Paul, Mary Wollstonecraft, 1879.

c.1797
Oil by Opie (NPG 1237).

Undated
Oil by unknown artist in Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

Oil attributed to Opie at Christie's 25 May 1934 (159) and later in Avington Park sale (Sir John Shelley-Rolls) Harris of Winchester 26 July 1951 (1010), half-length in black dress holding a book, identity doubtful.

Drawing attributed to Fanny Blood reproduced Country Life, 19 February 1970, identity doubtful.

Posthumous
1860
Bust by Weekes exhibited RA 1860 (1080) as 'Authoress of Rights of Woman'.

c.1926
Oil by Mrs Delissa Joseph exhibited Royal Society of Physicians 1926 (166).



This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.