William Ewart Gladstone

Past display archive
1 September 2008 - 29 March 2009

Room 25 case display


William Ewart Gladstone
by Eveleen Myers (née Tennant)
25 April 1890
NPG x36433

The photograph in this display shows William Ewart Gladstone (1809-98) towards the end of his political career in 1890 when he was in opposition against the Conservative government. Despite his age he went on to win office as Prime Minister for the fourth and last time in 1892.

Taken in a single sitting on 25th April 1890, the photographs form part of a series by Eveleen Myers born Tennant (1856-1937). Born in London she married Frederic W.H. Myers, poet and essayist, in 1880. Prompted by a desire to photograph her three children, she took up photography belatedly in 1888 and was mainly self-taught. By 1890 she had acquired a sufficient reputation to be in a position to take studio photographs of eminent statesman such as Joseph Chamberlain and Gladstone as well as poets including Robert Browning. Her work was recognised as powerful for its sparse composition, simple poses and natural lighting that highlighted facial expression and captured an essence of character.