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

First Previous 1 OF 7 NextLast

Edward Armitage

1 of 7 portraits of Edward Armitage

Edward Armitage, by David Wilkie Wynfield, circa 1864 -NPG P225 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue Search

Edward Armitage

by David Wilkie Wynfield
Albumen print, circa 1864
8 1/2 in. x 6 1/2 in. (216 mm x 165 mm)
NPG P225

This portraitback to top

This is one of the sequence of portraits of artists wearing historical and contemporary costumes in similar poses taken by David Wilkie Wynfield in the early 1860s, many of which were issued anonymously in 1864 as a partwork, The Studio: A Collection of Photographic Portraits of Living Artists, taken in the style of the Old Masters, by an Amateur. There are thirty-two examples in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection; this image was acquired from a different source than the others. For more on both project and technique, see NPG collection P70–P100.

Suggestive of a Jacobean statesman or Venetian senator, the costume worn by Armitage appears to allude to his seniority, as does his sober demeanour; although only in his mid-40s and not yet elected an Academician, he was older than most of Wynfield’s sitters.[1] The hairline of the sitter seen here more or less corresponds with an Elliott & Fry carte-de-visite taken when Armitage was around 50 (see ‘All known portraits, Photographs, c.1867’) and while the exact date is not known, there is little doubt that it was taken in the same period as those issued by Wynfield in 1864. The image is discussed by Juliet Hacking in relation to ‘the older generation’ of Wynfield’s contemporaries, including Richard Ansdell (NPG P70), John Phillip and Alfred Elmore.[2]

In keeping with Wynfield’s practice, the sitter is placed against a dark background that contrasts with his pale domed head and the reflected lights of the costume. Whilst the hand directs the eye to the face, the oblique gaze lends a depth of interest to the image.

This is the only known print of the photograph.

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

1) According to the ILN (9 March 1867, pp.238–9), commenting on his belated election as ARA, Armitage had publicly criticized the teaching methods of the RA Schools, and ‘his avowed opinions may have retarded his election’.
2) Hacking 2000, p.48. Armitage is not included in this exhibition catalogue.

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length with right hand, looking forwards, full beard, wearing ?silk robe.

Conservationback to top

Conserved, 1983.

Provenanceback to top

Purchased from Robert Hershowitz Ltd, 28 Feb. 1978.

View all known portraits for Edward Armitage

View all known portraits for David Wilkie Wynfield

Join

Become a Member

Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more

Join today

Get social

Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.

Facebook Instagram Twitter

Newsletter

Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.

Sign up