The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Sir Henry Irving

Sir Henry Irving, by Phil May, 1899 -NPG 3680 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue Search

Sir Henry Irving

by Phil May
Pencil drawing on blue wove paper, 1899
6 in. x 3 7/8 in. (153 mm x 99 mm) overall
NPG 3680

Inscriptionback to top

Signed in pencil at lower right: ‘PHIL MAY’.

This portraitback to top

This informal drawing is one of a set of studies of Henry Irving by Phil May, three of which are at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG 3679–3681). See NPG 3679 for details.

Carol Blackett-Ord

Physical descriptionback to top

Three-quarter-length profile to left, standing with hands clasped behind back, wearing pince-nez and smoking cigar.

Conservationback to top

Conserved, 1984.

Provenanceback to top

Given by Miss Margaret S. Shields, 1949.

Exhibitionsback to top

Edward Gordon Craig: Man of the Theatre, centenary exhibition, Camden Arts Centre, London, 1972 (no further details).

NPG Room 28, 1997 and 2005 (no further details).

Reproductionsback to top

Connoisseur, vol.125, May 1950, p.122.

View all known portraits for Philip William ('Phil') May

Listen

Pioneer Podcasts

Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.

Explore the podcasts

Untitled, c.1973 (Alex Chilton) by William Eggleston © Eggleston Artistic Trust

Eggleston Playlist

William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.

Listen to the playlist

Archive interviews

Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.

Watch, listen and read