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.

© National Portrait Gallery, London

  • Larger Image
  • Buy a print
  • Use this image
  • ShareShare this

Herbert Spencer

by Sir Francis Carruthers Gould ('F.C.G.')
watercolour, published in Vanity Fair 26 April 1879
12 in. x 7 7/8 in. (305 mm x 200 mm)
Purchased, 1933
NPG 2601

Back to main page

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

Alison Young

10 September 2018, 17:25

I have been researching the life of Alfred Bryan (r.n. Charles Grimeau) and in doing so came across a letter in 'The Entr'acte' 27 May 1899 about a drawing of Mr Herbert Spencer submitted by Alfred Bryan, signed 'C.G.'to Vanity Fair in 1878. The upshot of the letter (from a William H Combes) is that Bryan was too modest to declare that this was his work, 'and to this day the public and the proprietors of Vanity Fair themselves are not aware that the Herbert Spencer cartoon was the work of Alfred Bryan.'
On reading this I googled 'Mr Herbert Spencer, Vanity Fair' and found your image with the attribution to Carruthers Gould (FCG). Having looked at FCG's signature initials, I note that the 'CG' is different and possibly is by the hand of Alfred Bryan/Charles Grimeau. I can send the extract from The Entr'acte.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.