Mary Berenson (née Smith)

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Mary Berenson (née Smith)

by Unknown photographer
albumen print on card, 1878
4 in. x 2 3/8 in. (101 mm x 60 mm) overall
Given by Barbara Strachey (Hultin, later Halpern), 1999
Photographs Collection
NPG Ax160524

Sitterback to top

  • Mary Berenson (née Smith) (1864-1945), Art historian; former wife of Frank Costelloe, and later wife of Bernard Berenson; daughter of Robert Pearsall Smith. Sitter associated with 75 portraits.

Artistback to top

Subject/Themeback to top

Events of 1878back to top

Current affairs

The University of London becomes the first English university to admit women to examination and degree, although women had been allowed to attend classes at the University since 1830.
The former British Prime Minister Lord John Russell dies at Pembroke Lodge, in Surrey.

Art and science

Libel trial between critic John Ruskin and artist Whistler, provoked after Ruskin's review of Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket accused Whistler of 'flinging a pot of paint in the public's face'. Whistler sued Ruskin, and although Ruskin was found guilty, he only had to pay one farthing in damages; the case bankrupted Whistler.
Frederic Leighton, the renowned painter and sculptor is elected President of the Royal Academy.

International

The Treaty of Berlin is signed following the end of the Turkish-Russo war (1877-8). In a major shake-up of the Balkans, Bulgaria became autonomous, and Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania gained independence and territory, and Bosnia-Herzegovina was assigned to Austria for administration. The British delegation, including Lord Russell and Disraeli, score diplomatic success in limiting Russian influence in the Balkans, continuing to prop up Turkey.

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