Characters and Caricatures: Photographs by Herbert Watkins
Past display archive
3 June - 17 November 2013
Room 24: case display
Charles James Mathews as Dazzel in 'London Assurance'
by and after Herbert Watkins
Euphemia ('Effie') Chalmers (née Gray), Lady Millais
by (George) Herbert Watkins
Born in Worcester on 12 July 1828, Victorian photographer (George) Herbert Watkins opened his first studio at no. 179 Regent Street in the mid 1850s, later moving to no. 215 by 1858. His portraits were first shown at the 1856 Exhibition of the Photographic Society in London. Additional portraits shown in the 1857 Exhibition included his now famous study of Charles Dickens writing at his desk.
In 1857 Watkins began contributing to Herbert Fry’s serial, a National Gallery of Photographic Portraits. Sixteen prints were issued individually by subscription at 4 shillings each, before the project ended in 1858. (These photographs and texts can be seen in Album 39 of the Gallery’s Photographs Collection.) During the 1850s to 1870s Watkins issued many of his portraits as carte-de-visites, as well as pioneering mixed media photo-caricatures in this medium.
This display is the first to be held at the National Portrait Gallery to celebrate the life and work of Herbert Watkins, and draws together a selection of important albumen prints from the rarely-exhibited Herbert Watkins album, acquired by the Gallery in 1985. The album contains over 140 prints which can be explored online here, and also contains photographs by his brothers John and Charles Watkins. Further research and conservation work is currently taking place on this important album.
Photographs Collection: Display
© National Portrait Gallery, London
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- Marie Effie (née Wilton), Lady Bancroft (NPG P301(70))
- Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt (NPG P301(36))
- Effie Gray (Lady Millais) (NPG P301(37))
- Adelaide Ristori (NPG P301(65))
- Michael William Balfe (NPG P301(164))
- Alexandre Dumas (NPG P301(17))
- Charles Dickens (NPG P301(19))
- Charles Dickens (NPG P301(20))
- Anthony Trollope (NPG x12824)
- Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (NPG x11978)
- Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (NPG x11979)
- Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (NPG x45589)
- Alfred Mellon (NPG x136664)
- Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde (NPG x6181)
- Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde (NPG x137345)
- Charles James Mathews as Dazzel in 'London Assurance' (NPG x21240)
- Charles James Mathews as Dazzel in 'London Assurance' (NPG x21244)
- Charles Dickens (NPG Ax18262)
- Charles Dickens (NPG x5585)
- Charles Dickens (NPG x14342)
- Charles Dickens (NPG x14341)
- Charles Dickens (NPG Ax28569)
- Called Mamie Dickens (NPG x128686)
- Georgina Hogarth; Mamie Dickens (NPG x128688)
- Called Mamie Dickens (NPG x128687)
- Charles Dickens (NPG D42295)
- Michael William Balfe
- Marie Effie (née Wilton), Lady Bancroft
- Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux
- Euphemia ('Effie') Chalmers (née Gray), Lady Millais
- Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde
- Charles Dickens
- Mary ('Mamie') Dickens
- Alexandre Dumas
- Georgina Hogarth
- Charles James Mathews
- Alfred Mellon
- Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt
- Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
- Adelaide Ristori
- Anthony Trollope