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

Ada Lovelace

© National Portrait Gallery, London

2 Likes voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

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

Buy a print Make a donation Close
  • Buy a print
  • Use this image
  • ShareShare this

Ada Lovelace

by William Henry Mote, after Alfred Edward Chalon
stipple engraving, published 1839
12 3/8 in. x 8 7/8 in. (315 mm x 227 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
Reference Collection
NPG D5124

Sitterback to top

Artistsback to top

  • Alfred Edward Chalon (1780-1860), Portrait and subject painter. Artist associated with 180 portraits, Sitter associated with 1 portrait.
  • William Henry Mote (1803-1871), Line and stipple engraver. Artist associated with 74 portraits.

Related worksback to top

Linked publicationsback to top

  • 100 Pioneering Women, p. 55 Read entry

    Augusta Ada King (1815-52), Countess of Lovelace, was a computer pioneer, writer and mathematician, dubbed ‘enchantress of numbers’ and ‘prophet of the computer age’ by one biographer. Encouraged by her mother, Lady Byron, Ada fought for her right to an education, teaching herself geometry and training in astronomy and mathematics. Charles Dickens and Michael Faraday were among the Victorian luminaries of her acquaintance, as was the English mathematician, inventor and computer pioneer Charles Babbage. Her notes on her translation of a paper by an Italian mathematician, which explain how Babbage’s analytical engine (the ‘mechanical computer’) might be programmed, have led to her being credited as the first computer programmer. She was certainly integral to the birth of the computer revolution. ADA, the universal computer-programming language developed in the 1980s, is named in tribute to her. The Romantic poet Lord Byron’s only legitimate daughter, it is said there are more pilgrimages to her grave than to that of her father.

Events of 1839back to top

Current affairs

The Bedchamber crisis strains relations between the government and the monarchy, after Queen Victoria refuses to dismiss her Whig-appointed ladies of the bedchamber at the request of the new, Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel. Peel resigns and Melbourne returns as Prime Minister.
The Grand National is first held at the Aintree race course, won by the horse Lottery, and the first Henley Royal Regatta, the rowing event, is held on the Thames.

Art and science

The French and British scientists Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot separately publicise their experiments with the new form of photography.
The prolific journalist Harriet Martineau publishes her three decker novel Deerbrook, the story of middle class country life.

International

The first Opium War with China is sparked after the British government refuses to try six British soldiers accused of killing a Chinese man protecting a temple from looters. Relations were strained as Britain had promoted the drug opium in China to boost trade. Winning the war, Britain secured vital trading rights.
African captives aboard the Spanish ship La Amistad revolt, resulting in a highly publicised court case.

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.

Citationclose

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.

Support

Make a donation

Support our Make History appeal and help us transform the Gallery.

Help us make history

Online shop

A unique range of books, accessories and gifts. Every purchase supports the Gallery’s work.

Shop now

Bring a familiar face home

Refresh your home gallery with a huge selection of custom art prints .

Buy a print