Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Aubrey Beardsley
by Frederick Henry Evans
circa 1894
NPG P114

Entries continue to be added to the Gallery’s Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue available on the website. The size of this part of the collection guided our approach to compiling the catalogue and the decision that this is the first of the Gallery’s period catalogues to be published online. Rather than following an A-Z name sequence, research is conducted according to subject or vocational area. This allows us to publish the catalogue in phased tranches.

The first four tranches –artists and art world figures, travellers and explorers, social reformers and philanthropists, and medical pioneers – are now online with Actors and the Theatre World in progress. They include major names such as: Julia Margaret Cameron, William Morris, Sir Richard Burton, H.M. Stanley, Samuel Smiles, Octavia Hill, Joseph Lister, Florence Nightingale and Ellen Terry. 

The catalogue provides detailed accounts of the portraits of these individuals in the Gallery’s collection, plus comprehensive listings of other known portraits of them in all media. The catalogue therefore contributes to our understanding of portraiture during the first age of portrait photography and the mass dissemination of portrait images of the famous.

Work on medical figures has been made possible thanks to generous support over two years from Walgreens Boots Alliance. See A Picture of Health timeline here.

We are currently seeking funding for the next phase of the Catalogue entitled Literary Lives. This ambitious project will focus on twelve of the leading novelists of the period including George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Henry James and Robert Louis Stevenson.

We would be delighted to discuss this opportunity with you. Please contact Melanie Aram, Head of Major Gifts and Appeals at the National Portrait Gallery (020 7312 2469), if you would like to know more about how you or your organisation could support the completion of this important research project.

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