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Elizabeth Fry

Elizabeth Fry, by Charles Robert Leslie, based on a work of circa 1823 -NPG 898 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Elizabeth Fry

after Charles Robert Leslie
based on a work of circa 1823
9 3/8 in. x 6 7/8 in. (238 mm x 175 mm)
NPG 898

This portraitback to top

The portrait appears to be a straightforward copy made (perhaps with the help of one of the engravings) from Leslie's oil painting then at Plashett House and now in the library of Friends House, Euston Road. This was commissioned in March 1823 - 'My husband has engaged Leslie, the painter, to come and take likenesses of him and me, to which from peculiar circumstances, I have appeared obliged to yield; but the thing, and its effect on the mind are unsatisfactory to me, it is not altogether what I like or approve; it is making too much of this poor tabernacle, and rather exalting that part in us which should be laid low, and kept low; I believe I could not have yielded the point, had not so many likenesses of me already appeared, and it would be a trial to my family only to have these disagreeable ones to remain' (MS journal 29 March 1823 quoted and 'improved' by her daughters in the Memoir of Elizabeth Fry, I, p 437).

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length seated to right in her Quaker cap, dark green dress, cream-coloured shawl, white blouse; fair hair, blue eyes, grey eyebrows; plain dark background.

Provenanceback to top

Dealers' labels formerly on the back of 'Brown 168 High Holborn' and 'Henry Leggatt 85 Cornhill' and a cutting from an undated sale catalogue lot 82 'GAINSBOROUGH DUPONT. A portrait of Mrs Fry'; stencil 9620 on back of panel. Bought from Frederick Goodall Cash 1892.

Reproductionsback to top

Stipple engraving by T. Blood 1823 (example in British Museum); large stipple published by Edmund Fry, Hounsditch 1 January 1828; undated stipple lettered: ELIZABETH FRY/PLASHETT-HOUSE, ESSEX./Copied (by Permission) from an Original Painting in the possession of Joseph Fry/London, William Darton, 58 Holborn Hill.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, 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.

View all known portraits for Elizabeth Fry

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