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Marguerite, Countess of Blessington

Marguerite, Countess of Blessington, by Charles Martin, 1844 -NPG 1645a - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Marguerite, Countess of Blessington

by Charles Martin
7 3/4 in. x 5 5/8 in. (197 mm x 143 mm)
NPG 1645a

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed, signed and dated in pencil (bottom left): C. M./Gore House./Kensington, May,1844
Inscribed by the artist in red crayon on the front of the mount: Gore House. Kensington/May, 1844, and in pencil in another hand, on the left of the mount: Charles Martin
Faint pencil inscription along the bottom (possibly an autograph): Lady Blessington
Inscribed on the back of the mount, in the vendor's hand: My father Charles Martin (son of John Martin) drew a large/number of Portraits of distinguished persons of the time for the/"Illustrated London News", in the forties and this is one of them/Thos. C. Martin/I often remember my father/speaking of his visit to Gore House (Albert Hall Mansions on its site)/and the handkerchief Lady B. wore. The late Queen Victoria/always was taken/with a similar/handkerchief/It was fashionable

This portraitback to top

This drawing was published as a contemporary woodcut (example in NPG), for an unidentified newspaper or magazine. It did not appear in the Illustrated London News, although Martin published several other portrait drawings there. The NPG drawing was also used for a coloured lithograph in Martin's Twelve Victorian Celebrities (1899), no.3; the lithograph, apparently dated 26 February 1844 (the name of the month is not very clear), has several accessories not shown in the NPG drawing, is more finished, and differs in some other details; the basic pose, however, is the same. Lady Blessington's letter of 14 February 1844, agreeing to sit, is reproduced in facsimile in Martin's book. Several similar drawings by Martin of other 19th century celebrities are in the British Museum, and that of Dickens is in the collection of Mrs Jane Cohen, Boston.

Provenanceback to top

Purchased from the artist's son, Thomas Martin, 1912.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Ormond, Early Victorian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1973, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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