The Strachey family
© National Portrait Gallery, London
The Strachey family
by Graystone Bird
albumen print on the photographer's printed mount, circa 1893
7 7/8 in. x 9 1/2 in. (199 mm x 241 mm)
Sittersback to top
- Dorothy Bussy (née Strachey) (1865-1960), Author and translator. Sitter associated with 34 portraits. Identify
- Elinor Rendel (née Strachey) (1859-1944), Daughter of Sir Richard Strachey; wife of James Rendel. Sitter in 33 portraits. Identify
- James Beaumont Strachey (1887-1967), Psychoanalyst and translator. Sitter in 44 portraits, Artist or producer associated with 5 portraits. Identify
- Jane Maria (née Grant), Lady Strachey (1840-1928), Wife of Sir Richard Strachey. Sitter associated with 47 portraits. Identify
- (Giles) Lytton Strachey (1880-1932), Critic and biographer; son of Sir Richard Strachey. Sitter in 143 portraits, Artist or producer associated with 5 portraits. Identify
- Marjorie Strachey (1882-1964), Writer. Sitter in 26 portraits. Identify
- Oliver Strachey (1874-1960), Musician, civil servant and author; cryptographer. Sitter in 49 portraits, Artist or producer associated with 1 portrait. Identify
- (Joan) Pernel Strachey (1876-1951), College head and french scholar. Sitter in 27 portraits. Identify
- Philippa ('Pippa') Strachey (1872-1968), Suffragist. Sitter in 43 portraits. Identify
- Ralph Strachey (1868-1923), Civil engineer in India. Sitter in 26 portraits. Identify
- Sir Richard Strachey (1817-1908), Lieutenant-General, scientist and engineer. Sitter in 32 portraits. Identify
- Richard John Strachey (1862-1935), Colonel. Sitter in 26 portraits. Identify
Linked publicationsback to top
- Hamilton, Peter; Hargreaves, Roger, The Beautiful and the Damned: The Creation of Identity in Nineteenth Century Portrait Photography, 2001 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 6 June to 7 October 2001), p. 26
- Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 139 Read entry
The sitters are (left to right) : James Beaumont Strachey 1887-1967, psycho-analyst; Giles Lytton 1880-1932, critic and biographer; Oliver 1874-1960, musician, civil servant and author; Ralph 1868-1923; Richard John 1862-1935, soldier; Sir Richard; Jane Maria Grant, Lady Strachey 1840-1928; Elinor, Mrs Rendel 1860-1945; Dorothy 1865-1960, wife of the artist Simon Bussy; Philippa 1872--1968; Joan Pernel 1876-1951, and Marjorie 1882-1962.
As soldier, engineer, botanist and administrator, Sir Richard Strachey devoted his life to the service of India, where he rose to be Head of the Public Works department (1862-5) and Inspector-General of Irrigation (1866). In retirement he pursued his prodigiously wide interests, and was for a time Chairman of the East Indian Railway, President of the Royal Geographical Society, and Chairman of the Meteorological Council. The member of a distinguished intellectual family, many of his own children played a significant part in English social and intellectual life, above all Lytton, who was a leading member of the Bloomsbury Group.
In this photograph by the obscure Bath photographer Bird, whose studio was at 38 Milsom Street, the family are displayed with characteristic eccentricity in perfect sym-metry, in imitation of the reliefs of kneeling figures often found on seventeenth-century English tombs. It was probably taken at the Strachey family home of Sutton Court, Somerset, and is part of a large group of Strachey family photographs purchased from the Strachey Trust in 1979.
- Spalding, Frances, The Bloomsbury Group, 2013, p. 106
- Spalding, Frances, Insights: The Bloomsbury Group, 2005, p. 93
Placesback to top
- Place made and portrayed: United Kingdom: England, Somerset (Strachey family home, Sutton Court, Somerset)
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- The Beautiful and the Damned (6 June 2001 - 7 October 2001)
Events of 1893back to top
Current affairsKeir Hardie is among the group who formalise the Independent Labour Party, and is elected chairman and party leader at the opening conference. Gladstone continues with his campaign for home rule in Ireland, introducing the Second Home Rule Bill, which is passed by the Commons but vetoed by the Lords.
Art and scienceArt Nouveau becomes a fully established movement in European art and design, after emerging in different countries and across different disciplines at the start of the decade. Key figures include the illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, architects Victor Horta and Paul Hankar, and the designer Alphonse Mucha. Art Nouveau is characterised by the 'whiplash' line, a decorative line which represents graphically the desire to break free from traditional aesthetic constraints.
InternationalGandhi's ejection from a South African train carriage on account of his race is the catalyst for his non-violent activism in leading the struggle for Indian independence from British rule.
New Zealand becomes the first self-governing country to grant women the vote.
The Chicago World's Fair is visited by more than 200 million people, with Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse introducing electrical power to illuminate the fair.
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