by John Lewis
oil on canvas, feigned oval, 1753
29 7/8 in. x 24 7/8 in. (760 mm x 633 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Margaret ('Peg') Woffington (1720?-1760), Actress. Sitter associated with 20 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait shows Woffington shortly before her retirement from the stage in 1754.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Smartify image discovery app
- Cullen, Fintan, The Irish Face: Redefining the Irish Portrait, 2004, p. 117
- Perry, Gill (introduction) Roach, Joseph (appreciation) and West, Shearer (appreciation), The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 2011 to 8 January 2012), p. 79
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 120
- Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 132
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 673
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons (20 October 2011 - 8 January 2012)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1753back to top
Current affairsAfter a month's absence, servant Elizabeth Canning returns to her mother's house claiming that she was abducted. The following trial causes uproar and becomes one of the most famous criminal mysteries of the century.
Hardwicke's Marriage Act (named after its champion Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke) is passed, aimed at preventing clandestine marriages.
Art and scienceArtist Joshua Reynolds establishes his portrait practice in London.
Swiss painter and pastellist Jean-Etienne Liotard arrives in London where he enjoys great success until his departure in 1756.
InternationalGeorge Washington undertakes a difficult and ineffectual journey to persuade the French to withdraw from the Ohio valley.
First steam engine arrives in the American colonies.
First official celebration of St Patrick's Day on 17 March, organised by the Charitable Irish Society in Boston.
Britain, Austria and Modena sign a secret military treaty.
Develop your art skills
Discover our BP Next Generation short films made by artists. Follow step by step guides in drawing and painting techniques.
Hold Still photography workshop
Reflect on your own experiences of lockdown through this easy-to-do from home, photographic exercise.
Draw Like a Renaissance Master
Revisit The Encounter exhibition and learn about Renaissance and Baroque drawing methods and materials.
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.