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Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, by Henry William Pickersgill, circa 1831 -NPG 1277 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

by Henry William Pickersgill
circa 1831
36 in. x 28 1/8 in. (914 mm x 715 mm)
NPG 1277

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed on an old label on the back of the stretcher: Lord Litton [sic] Bulwer

This portraitback to top

Although the early history of this portrait was not known or investigated when it was acquired, there seems little reason to doubt that it represents Lytton. Comparison with other early portraits is not conclusive, but it tends to support the identification. The portrait was accepted as the work of Pickersgill (the name of the artist was supplied by the vendors) until 1909, when an inscription was discovered in the upper right-hand corner. This was read as 'Poole', and the portrait was, therefore, re-attributed to the history painter, P. F. Poole. Poole is not known to have painted portraits, and the style of the painting is strikingly close to the work of Pickersgill. In any case, the inscription, which is very faint, even in an infra-red photograph, does not read 'Poole', and does not appear to be a signature at all. There seems little doubt that this is the Pickersgill portrait exhibited at the RA, in 1831, and possibly the one in the Pickersgill Sale. A copy by A. E. Dyer is in the Shire Hall, Hertford.

Physical descriptionback to top

Bluish-grey eyes, healthy complexion, light brown hair and whiskers. Dressed in a dark stock, white shirt, a waistcoat edged with red, and a dark coat. Seated in a red armchair, his elbow resting on a buff leather-bound book on a table with a red cloth. Background colour brown.

Provenanceback to top

Possibly the portrait in the Pickersgill Sale, Christie's, 17 July 1875 (lot 330); Southcott & Co of Bristol, purchased from them, 1900.

Exhibitionsback to top

Probably RA, 1831 (171).


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.

View all known portraits for Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

View all known portraits for Henry William Pickersgill

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