Emilia Francis (née Strong), Lady Dilke

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Emilia Francis (née Strong), Lady Dilke

by Sir Hubert von Herkomer
oil on canvas, 1887
55 in. x 43 in. (1397 mm x 1092 mm)
Purchased, 1980
Primary Collection
NPG 5288

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Sir Hubert von Herkomer (1849-1914), Painter and illustrator. Artist or producer associated with 53 portraits, Sitter in 11 portraits.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Bailey, Colin B., Fragonard's Progress of love at the Frick Collection / Colin B. Bailey., 2011, p. 110
  • Funnell, Peter (introduction); Marsh, Jan, A Guide to Victorian and Edwardian Portraits, 2011, p. 16 Read entry

    Emilia Francis Dilke (1840-1904) began writing reviews and articles on art in the mid-1860s, and was the salaried art editor of The Academy from 1873 to 1888. Her first book, The Renaissance of Art in France (1879), was followed by a major study of Claude Lorrain (1884). She was a close friend of and frequent visitor to the home of Pauline Trevelyan at Wallington in Northumberland (now owned by the National Trust). On the death of her first husband she married the Liberal politician Sir Charles Dilke. Also active in support of working women, Lady Dilke was resident of the Women’s Trade Union League from 1886 until her death.

  • Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 188
  • Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 190
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 179

Events of 1887back to top

Current affairs

Queen Victoria celebrates her Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years of her reign.
In what becomes known as 'Bloody Sunday', or the Trafalgar Square Riot, the police attack a meeting of the Social Democratic Federation, led by among others) Elizabeth Reynolds, John Burns, Annie Besant and Robert Cunninghame-Graham, killing three and injuring more than 200 crowd members.

Art and science

A Study in Scarlet, the first of Arthur Conan Doyle's detective mysteries featuring Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr Watson, is published. One of only four novels (there were a further 56 short stories) featuring Holmes, the mystery turns around the discovery of a corpse in Brixton.
The essayist and critic Walter Pater publishes Imaginary Portraits in which he consolidates his doctrine of Aestheticism, 'art for art's sake'.


Britain ratifies the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, thus accepting the terms of the International Copyright Act (1886), which abolishes the requirement to register foreign works and introduces an exclusive right to import or produce translations.
The British annex Zululand; it becomes part of Natal in 1897.

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