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

Facing Blindness: Visual Impairment in the Nineteenth Century

Past display archive
18 November 2013 - 13 July 2014

Room 24: case display


James Holman
by Maull & Polyblank
circa 1855
NPG P106(11)

This display explores portraiture of prominent blind and visually-impaired people in the nineteenth century, active in the world of art, education, travel and politics, with a special focus on James Holman (1786-1857) and Henry Fawcett (1833-84). Highlighting their remarkable biographies, the display highlights how these sitters resisted limiting stereotypes to portray a positive and enabling image of blindness.

© National Portrait Gallery, London