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Virginia Woolf; Sir Leslie Stephen

15 of 64 portraits of Virginia Woolf

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Virginia Woolf; Sir Leslie Stephen

by George Charles Beresford
sepia-toned platinotype, 1902
4 1/4 in. x 5 1/2 in. (109 mm x 140 mm)
Given by George Charles Beresford, 1933
Photographs Collection
NPG x4600

Sittersback 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.
  • Virginia Woolf (née Stephen) (1882-1941), Novelist and critic; sister of Vanessa Bell. Sitter in 64 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • George Charles Beresford (1864-1938), Photographer. Artist or producer associated with 388 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.

This portraitback to top

In addition to the single portraits, Beresford photographed Stephen with his twenty-year-old daughter, Virginia. Shortly after his death, Virginia recalled Beresford's photographs of her father: 'We had several taken just before his operation in December 1902. They are, I think, as good as photographs can be, though he looks more ill than he did afterwards'.

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1902back to top

Current affairs

Prime 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 science

Joseph 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.

International

The 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.

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