Sir Henry Irving
Sir Henry Irving
by Samuel Alexander Walker
albumen cabinet card, 1879
5 1/2 in. x 4 1/8 in. (139 mm x 104 mm) image size
acquired Harrison Collection, 1952
Sitterback to top
- Sir Henry Irving (John Henry Brodribb) (1838-1905), Actor-manager. Sitter in 122 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Samuel Alexander Walker (1841-1922), Photographer; son of William Walker. Artist associated with 200 portraits.
Placesback to top
- Place made and portrayed: United Kingdom: England, London (sitter's home, 15a Grafton Street, London)
Events of 1879back to top
Current affairsWomen's education continues to grow, with the founding of women's colleges in Oxford. Somerville College took its name from the late Scottish scientific writer Mary Somerville. Lady Margaret Hall was founded by Elizabeth Wordsworth, great niece of the poet, and named after Margaret Beaufort, a medieval noblewoman and mother of Henry VII.
Art and scienceEdison invents the first practical electric light bulb.
The first prehistoric paintings, dating back 14,000 years, are discovered in the Altamira caves in Northern Spain when a young girl notices paintings of bison on the ceilings.
The French actress Sarah Bernhardt, already acclaimed for roles in plays such as Racine's Phèdre and Victor Hugo's Hernani, celebrates a successful season at London's Gaiety Theatre.
InternationalAnglo-Zulu war fought between British forces and the Zulus, after disputes between the Boers and Zulu leader Cetshywayo over the Utrecht border attracted British intervention. The British victory marked the end of the independent Zulu nation, although the Zulu's initial victory at Isandhlwana was a major surprise. The Battle of Rorke's Drift was dramatised in the film Zulu, starring Michael Caine, in 1964.
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.