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Gerard Manley Hopkins

1 of 7 portraits of Gerard Manley Hopkins

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Gerard Manley Hopkins

by Ann Eleanor Hopkins
watercolour, 1859
8 1/2 in. x 7 in. (216 mm x 178 mm)
Given by Edward Manley Hopkins, 1962
Primary Collection
NPG 4264

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Influenced by Christina Rossetti and close friend of Robert Bridges, Gerard Manley Hopkins became one of the most original poets of his time. While his most ambitious works such The Wreck of the Deutschland at first caused bewilderment, he is now widely appreciated for such poems as The Windhover and Pied Beauty in which he sought passionate celebration of man and nature and a sacramental view of creation. This portrait of Hopkins aged about fifteen by his aunt Anne is thought to be the only painted portrait of the poet.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Foister, Susan, Cardinal Newman 1801-90, 1990 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 March - 20 May 1990), p. 68 Read entry

    The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, author of The Wreck of the Deutschland, was strongly influenced by Pusey while at Oxford University, but did not remain an Anglican. He was received into the Roman Catholic Church by Newman at the Birmingham Oratory in 1866, when still an undergraduate, after first visiting Newman to consult with him on his course of action. After taking a first class degree, Hopkins joined the staff of the Oratory School for a short period, before deciding to become a Jesuit. Newman wrote to him 'I think it is the very thing for you. You are quite out, in thinking that when I offered you a 'home' here I dreamed of your having a vocation for us. This I clearly saw you had not, from the moment you came to us'. (Ian Ker, John Henry Newman: A Biography, Oxford, 1988, pp 624-5).

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 313

Events of 1859back to top

Current affairs

Formation of the first Liberal cabinet, following the dissolution of Parliament in light of the Liberal and opposition member Lord Russell's introduction of a resolution arguing for widening the franchise, carried because the Conservatives, the ruling party, only have a minority. Palmerston holds a meeting of Whigs, Peelites and Radicals, from which the Liberal Party is formed, and the Queen later invites him to become Prime Minister.

Art and science

Charles Darwin's The Origin of the Species is published, in which he sets out his theory of evolution based on the process of natural selection, species mutation, and survival of the fittest.
The engineer Joseph Bazalgette begins work on constructing the London sewerage system, following the 'Big Stink' of the preceding summer. Bazalgette's system, now extended, continues to serve London.

International

Outbreak of war between an alliance of France and Italian nationalists, and Austria. Napoleon III signs an armistice with Austria. However, pressure from Britain, supporting Italian unification to counterweight French and Austrian influence, leads to success for Italian nationalists.
The first oil well is drilled in America, after Edwin Drake's discovery in Titusville, Pennsylvania, transforming a quiet farming region into Oil Creek.

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Dana Josephson

21 December 2017, 14:04

The artist, Hopkins's father's sister, spelled her Christian name 'Ann', without an 'e'. She lived from 1815 to 1887.

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