- Extended Catalogue Entry
by John Singer Sargent
oil on canvas, 1898
40 1/8 in. x 32 3/8 in. (1020 mm x 822 mm) overall
Bequeathed by Octavia Hill, 1915
Artistback to top
- John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), Portrait and landscape painter and muralist. Artist associated with 72 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Influenced by Christian Socialism and encouraged by John Ruskin in her schemes for improving the housing of the poor, Octavia Hill devoted herself to housing reform and to supervising the building and management of numerous dwellings. She was also widely involved in other charitable activities and a founder of the National Trust. This portrait was commissioned from Sargent by her friends and was given to Hill on her sixtieth birthday. It has a fine carved frame of leaves and fruit.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- 100 Pioneering Women, p. 79
- Funnell, Peter (introduction); Marsh, Jan, A Guide to Victorian and Edwardian Portraits, 2011, p. 59
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 302
- Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 109
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 175
Events of 1898back to top
Current affairsThe UK Parliament passes the Irish Local Government Act, which establishes a mixed system of local government in Ireland similar to that in Great Britain, notably creating new, directly elected county councils, and extending the electoral franchise to include all male householders and occupiers.
Charles Pelham Villiers, Britain's longest-serving Member of Parliament, dies. Villiers entered Parliament in 1835 as Liberal MP for Wolverhampton.
Art and scienceThe French physicists Pierre and Marie Curie discover the strongly radioactive elements polonium and radium, paving the way for cancer therapy and nuclear physics.
H.G. Wells's highly influential science fiction novellaThe War of the World is published, describing an invasion of England by aliens from Mars.
InternationalThe Spanish-American war takes place after Spain fails to meet America's demands to peacefully resolve the Cuban fight for independence. America secures victory after a series of quick naval and military victories in the Philippines and Cuba. Later this year, the Treaty of Paris gives the US ownership of the former Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam, the US also taking control of Cuba, ending the uprising and granting independence.
- Portrait of the Day: Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
10 December, 12:30