Louisa Anne Beresford

1 portrait matching these criteria:

- npg number matching '3176'

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Louisa Anne Beresford

by Sir Francis Grant
oil on canvas, 1859-1860
35 7/8 in. x 23 1/8 in. (911 mm x 586 mm)
Purchased, 1944
Primary Collection
NPG 3176

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Sir Francis Grant (1803-1878), Portrait painter and President of the Royal Academy; Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery. Artist or producer associated with 116 portraits, Sitter associated with 21 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Painted twenty years after the event, this portrait of Louisa, Lady Waterford is a nostalgic depiction of her younger self dressed in the medieval-style costume she wore to the Eglinton Tournament of 1839. This full-scale 'recreation' of a Medieval contest, staged by the Earl of Eglinton, was the first grand costume event of Queen Victoria's reign. Lady Waterford's beautiful appearance had been much admired, and it was where she captivated her future husband, now deceased, who was playing a chivalric knight. Commissioned by friends, the painting became a poignant memento of her presence at this remarkable event.

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Events of 1859back to top

Current affairs

Formation of the first Liberal cabinet, following the dissolution of Parliament in light of the Liberal and opposition member Lord Russell's introduction of a resolution arguing for widening the franchise, carried because the Conservatives, the ruling party, only have a minority. Palmerston holds a meeting of Whigs, Peelites and Radicals, from which the Liberal Party is formed, and the Queen later invites him to become Prime Minister.

Art and science

Charles Darwin's The Origin of the Species is published, in which he sets out his theory of evolution based on the process of natural selection, species mutation, and survival of the fittest.
The engineer Joseph Bazalgette begins work on constructing the London sewerage system, following the 'Big Stink' of the preceding summer. Bazalgette's system, now extended, continues to serve London.

International

Outbreak of war between an alliance of France and Italian nationalists, and Austria. Napoleon III signs an armistice with Austria. However, pressure from Britain, supporting Italian unification to counterweight French and Austrian influence, leads to success for Italian nationalists.
The first oil well is drilled in America, after Edwin Drake's discovery in Titusville, Pennsylvania, transforming a quiet farming region into Oil Creek.

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