Sir Henry Irving
Sir Henry Irving
by Unknown photographer
carbon print, 1880s
4 1/2 in. x 3 5/8 in. (114 mm x 92 mm) image size
Sitterback to top
- Sir Henry Irving (John Henry Brodribb) (1838-1905), Actor-manager. Sitter in 122 portraits.
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.
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.
- Sir Henry Irving
- Shakespeare: Stage and Screen
- Before Windrush: Images of Black and Asian Figures
- Mad, Bad and Dangerous: The Cult of Lord Byron
- Jean Simmons: a life in pictures
- Keep The Home Fires Burning
- Rebel women
- Centenaries and Centenarians
- Reaching for the stars: Astronomers in focus
- Rupert Brooke: War Poet
- The Royal Ballet at 75
- Lillah McCarthy
- The Beautiful and the Damned
- Joseph Conrad
- George Augustus Sala
- Lives and Letters
- Portraits of John Nash
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.