The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Ellen Terry

© National Portrait Gallery, London

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close
  • Use this image
  • ShareShare this

Ellen Terry

by William Henry Grove
bromide postcard print, 1889
5 1/4 in. x 3 3/8 in. (132 mm x 87 mm) overall
Purchased, 1983
Photographs Collection
NPG x17049

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Robin Gibson, Pets in Portraits, 2015, p. 101 Read entry

    Writing in 1914 from Australia to her great friend, the painter, writer and dog owner W. Graham Robertson, on one of the punishing lecture tours she undertook in later life, the great actress remembered some of the many dogs she had known: 'I cd think of nothing but Dogs for a long while - they were much easier to think of than people - & I babbled of Snob - Winkie - Charley - Fussy [sic] - Drummy & Bossy as well of all my later ducks - (Dogs -).' Fussie was the fox terrier she had acquired from the famous jockey Fred Archer in the mid-1880s and, since he was the first fox terrier she had owned, may reasonably be assumed to be one of the two being tempted with titbits by his mistress, apparently on a stage set. The other is probably Drummy or Bossy.

    It was in 1878 that Ellen Terry finally went into regular partnership with her great opposite number, Henry Irving, at the Lyceum Theatre and went on to create some of her most memorable roles. The relationship with Irving was a close though informal one, and she and Fussie accompanied Irving on all his American tours between 1883 and 1897. Gradually, however, as Ellen Terry remembered in her autobiography, Fussie 'had his affections alienated by a course of chops, tomatoes, strawberries, "ladies' fingers" soaked in champagne and a beautiful fur rug of his very own presented by Baroness Burdett-Coutts!', and his ownership was officially transferred to Irving.

    As Irving's dog, Fussie's exploits and requirements became legendary. He had his own chair in Irving's dressing-room, made (unscheduled) appearances on stage round the world, found his way from Southampton back to the Lyceum after missing the boat to America for the 1888 tour and, after missing the train from New York, was discovered by the station master trotting dutifully after it down the line to California. Fussie met his end in 1897 after falling through a trap door on the stage in Manchester. 'Henry was not told until the end of the play ... We drove [to the hotel] and found him there eating his supper with the poor dead Fussie, who would never eat supper any more, curled up in the sofa ... He is buried in the dogs’ cemetery, Hyde Park.'

Events of 1889back to top

Current affairs

The London Dock strike takes place resulting in a victory for the dock workers striking over pay and conditions.
Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, allowing legal intervention between children and parents for the first time.
Charles Booth, the English social scientist, publishes the first volume of Life and Labour of the People, an extensive survey into the living conditions of London's East End working class communities.

Art and science

George Gissing's The Nether World, a dark account of the lives of the urban poor in Clerkenwell, is published. Gissing absorbs the French naturalist style of writers such as Emile Zola to produce a harshly realistic observation of life in London at the end of the nineteenth century.


The Eiffel Tower is erected, designed by the French engineer and bridge builder Alexandre Gustave Eiffel for the Paris Exposition. At 300m high, it was the tallest manmade structure in the world at the time.
The Second International organisation is formed at a Congress in Paris by various socialist and labour parties, with the intention of working together for international socialism. It also declared 1 May International Labour Day.

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.