© National Portrait Gallery, London and the National Media Museum (part of the Science Museum Group, London)
by Lewis Carroll
wet collodion glass plate negative, Summer 1858
5 in. x 6 in. (126 mm x 152 mm)
Purchased jointly with the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, with help from the Art Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund, 2002
Sitterback to top
- Alice Pleasance Liddell (1852-1934), Inspiration for 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'; daughter of Henry George Liddell. Sitter in 16 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) (1832-1898), Photographer and author of 'Alice in Wonderland'. Artist associated with 62 portraits, Sitter in 9 portraits.
This portraitback to top
All photography is an attempt to fix the moment. This was the aim of the Oxford mathematician and author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson when he repeatedly photographed Alice Liddell. She was the daughter of Dodgson's friend Henry George Liddell, Dean of Christ Church in Oxford and it was for her that Dodgson wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland under the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll. In photographs that show Alice pretending to sleep, or posed as a beggar girl, Dodgson captured her high-spirits and playfulness. While the portraits belong to a genre of Victorian photograph that idealized childhood, such photographs can now seem disturbing to modern eyes. In 1863, Dodgson's friendship with the children ended abruptly. However, in 1870, Mrs Liddell commissioned a new portrait. The resulting image, conveys Alice's teenage awkwardness and Dodgson's regret at the passing of their 'wonderland'.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Prodger, Phillip, Victorian Giants, The Birth of Art Photography, 2018 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 1 March - 20 May 2018), p. 77
Placesback to top
- Place made and portrayed: United Kingdom: England, Oxfordshire (Deanery garden, Christ Church, Oxford)
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Face of Britain: Love (14 September 2015 - 4 January 2016)
Events of 1858back to top
Current affairsAfter Palmerstone's government collapses, the Earl of Derby becomes Prime Minister for second time, again heading a minority government.
The Property qualification for MPs is abolished; one of the demands made by the Chartists, this allowed men who did not own property to stand as parliamentary candidates. Lionel Nathan Rothschild becomes the first Jew to sit in Britain's House of Commons, taking his oath on the Old Testament.
Art and scienceThe pianist Charles Hallé founds a symphony orchestra in Manchester, the Halle; now Britain's oldest professional orchestra. The Hallé symphony rose to prominence in the mid-20th century, under the tenure of conductor John Barbirolli, during which time they made many recordings, including Ralph Vaughan Williams's Symphony No. 8.
InternationalThe British Crown assumes control of India from the East India Company.
The Treaty of Tientsin, ending the Second Opium War, gives European powers new rights to intervene in Chinese affairs
The Fenian Brotherhood is founded by John O'Mahony, an Irish emigrant to the United States, to support Irish republican ambitions.
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