Jane, Lady Franklin

Jane, Lady Franklin, by Amélie Romilly, 1816 -NPG 904 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Jane, Lady Franklin

by Amélie Romilly
6 1/4 in. x 5 1/4 in. (159 mm x 133 mm) oval
NPG 904

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed in Lady Franklin's hand in ink on a label (formerly on the back of the drawing): I bequeath this/portrait to my/sister Fanny Majendie/and after her death to/Sophia Cracroft./May 17 1853.
Inscribed in ink in another hand (below): Mary Simpkinson

This portraitback to top

This drawing was executed in Geneva in 1816. Lady Franklin discussed it at length in her 'Geneva Journal', extracts from which are quoted by Rawnsley. Lady Franklin went to Miss Romilly's studio with her sister, Frances (later Mrs Majendie), and both were drawn:

'It seems to be her object to seize as much as possible the character and natural expression of the face by making it talk and laugh and to move and be at ease. She talks and laughs incessantly herself ... I was drawn with my hair fiat, à l'anglaise, perfectly simple, in a plain muslin frock with a low neck and my pelisse thrown back on my shoulders; she arrested me in an attitude I accidentally fell into and said she should choose that ... We left after two or three hours' interrupted sitting and promised to go again and be finished the following day.'
Miss Romilly was helped in her work by her sister, Mrs Dance, who laid in the ground, and worked on the subsidiary parts of the drawing. This portrait was bequeathed at the same time as Lady Franklin's great collection of 'Arctic Explorers' by S. Pearce (see NPG 905-924), and the portraits of her husband. Mary Simpkinson was another of Lady Franklin's sisters.

Provenanceback to top

Bequeathed by Lady Franklin's niece, Miss Cracroft, 1892.

Reproductionsback to top

The Life, Diaries and Correspondence of Jane Lady Franklin, 1792-1875, edited W. F. Rawnsley (1923), pp 46-7, frontispiece; F. J. Woodward, Portrait of Jane: a Life of Lady Franklin (1951), frontispiece.

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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