by Elliott & Fry
albumen print, 1880s
5 in. x 3 7/8 in. (127 mm x 97 mm) image size
Given by Martin Plaut, 2012
Artistback to top
- Elliott & Fry (active 1863-1962), Photographers. Artist associated with 10990 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Christina Rossetti is often portrayed through Pre-Raphaelite artworks by her brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. She was careful to control the circulation of her image, particularly as she suffered from Graves' disease, which altered her appearance. Elliott & Fry's portrait provides a rare glimpse of Rossetti later in life; her brother William Michael Rossetti claimed that she referred it as 'the idiot.' The photograph was circulated in the 1890s - though it was seldom featured in later biographies, which appear to favour her Pre-Raphaelite idealisation.
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Events of 1880back to top
Current affairsThe Liberals defeat the Conservatives, and Gladstone becomes Prime Minister for the second time, taking over from Disraeli, who retires from politics.
The MP for Northampton and atheist Charles Bradlaugh, refuses to swear on the Bible and so forfeits his right to take his seat. Despite having the support of Gladstone and J.S Mill, it takes six years before he can take his seat, after which he pushes through a new Oaths Act (1888).
Art and scienceThomas Huxley delivers his address 'Science and Culture' at the opening of Josiah Mason's science college in Birmingham (published the following year). Huxley argues that the study of modern literature, combined with knowledge of science, should be promoted in education above classical literature, echoing the claim made by the poet and critic Matthew Arnold. Huxley, an early advocate of 'Darwinism', did much to popularise evolutionary theory.
InternationalBuenos Aires finally becomes the permanent capital of Argentina, following sixty years of political debates around the issue. The city was federalised, politically separated from the Buenos Aires Province, and placed under direct control of the national government.
Despite allegations of vote buying, Cecil Rhodes is elected member of parliament for Barkly West in the Cape Colony, marking the start of his political career in South Africa.