Sir Henry Irving
- Extended Catalogue Entry
Sir Henry Irving
by Jules Bastien-Lepage
oil on canvas, 1880
18 1/8 in. x 18 3/4 in. (460 mm x 475 mm) overall
Given by Dame Ellen Alice Terry, 1910
Sitterback to top
- Sir Henry Irving (John Henry Brodribb) (1838-1905), Actor-manager. Sitter in 120 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait was conceived at a supper party at the Lyceum on 3 July 1880, when Irving and Ellen Terry entertained Bastien Lepage and Sarah Bernhardt. It was abandoned after only one or two sittings, at Irving's rooms in Grafton Street, presumably because Irving intensely disliked Bastien's informal depiction of him.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Victorian Portraits Resource Pack, p. 30
- Funnell, Peter, Victorian Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1996, p. 30
- Funnell, Peter (introduction); Marsh, Jan, A Guide to Victorian and Edwardian Portraits, 2011, p. 32
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 327
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 159
Placesback to top
- Place made: United Kingdom: England, London (sitter's home, Grafton Street, London)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1880back to top
Current affairsThe Liberals defeat the Conservatives, and Gladstone becomes Prime Minister for the second time, taking over from Disraeli, who retires from politics.
The MP for Northampton and atheist Charles Bradlaugh, refuses to swear on the Bible and so forfeits his right to take his seat. Despite having the support of Gladstone and J.S Mill, it takes six years before he can take his seat, after which he pushes through a new Oaths Act (1888).
Art and scienceThomas Huxley delivers his address 'Science and Culture' at the opening of Josiah Mason's science college in Birmingham (published the following year). Huxley argues that the study of modern literature, combined with knowledge of science, should be promoted in education above classical literature, echoing the claim made by the poet and critic Matthew Arnold. Huxley, an early advocate of 'Darwinism', did much to popularise evolutionary theory.
InternationalBuenos Aires finally becomes the permanent capital of Argentina, following sixty years of political debates around the issue. The city was federalised, politically separated from the Buenos Aires Province, and placed under direct control of the national government.
Despite allegations of vote buying, Cecil Rhodes is elected member of parliament for Barkly West in the Cape Colony, marking the start of his political career in South Africa.