Sir Leslie Stephen
Sir Leslie Stephen
by George Charles Beresford
sepia-toned platinotype print on card mount, 1902
6 1/8 in. x 4 3/8 in. (155 mm x 110 mm) image size
Given by (Anne) Olivier Bell (née Popham), 2006
Sitterback to top
- Sir Leslie Stephen (1832-1904), Writer, philosopher, mountaineer and first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography; Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery. Sitter in 13 portraits.
Artistback to top
- George Charles Beresford (1864-1938), Photographer. Artist associated with 387 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.
This portraitback to top
At the time these photographs were taken, Stephen was working on his final book. It was a biography of Thomas Hobbes, about whom he evidently enjoyed writing: 'a dour cynical old gentleman, and therefore…just suited to me'. Long after his death, Virginia Woolf memorably described her father: 'he was beautiful in the distinguished way a race horse, even an ugly race horse, is beautiful'.
Events of 1902back to top
Current affairsPrime Minister Lord Salisbury resigns and is replaced by his nephew, Balfour, who this year introduces the Education Act, which controversially hands control of secondary education from school boards to Local Education Authorities.
Arthur Griffith, leader of the Society of Gaels, introduces a policy of 'Sinn Fein' at a Society meeting in Dublin, which includes passive resistance to the British and the establishment of an Irish ruling council.
Art and scienceJoseph Conrad publishes his short story The Heart of Darkness, a powerful critique of European imperialism. Based on his experiences in Africa, the narrative follows Charles Marlow's journey into the Belgian Congo in search of the mysterious trader Kurtz.
In New York, Alfred Stieglitz founds the Photo-Secession movement, a group of US photographers influenced by the Pictoralist movement, seeking recognition of photography as art in its own terms.
InternationalThe first Aswan Dam is opened on the Nile, at the time the world's largest dam. The gravity dam, 1900m long and 54m high, was designed by Sir William Willcocks and built by engineers including Sir John Aird, whose firm John Aird & Company was the main contractor.
The Boer War ends after the Boers accept their loss of independence under the Treaty of Vereeniging, bringing the Boer republics under British control.
Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.
William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.
Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.
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