Here are noted some of the pictures and sculpture in the Victorian galleries at the National Portrait Gallery.
The Pre-Raphaelites are represented by Millais, with portraits of Disraeli, Gladstone and Arthur Sullivan the composer; and by Burne-Jones, with a fine picture of Kipling. The portrait of Burne-Jones himself is by his son, Philip Burne-Jones, and shows him stooped, painting, and looking far older than his 65 years. The Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Woolner has among others, the well-known portrait of Tennyson. The Classical painters represented include Leighton, with his famous Richard Francis Burton, a portrait by Alma Tadema of his follower Alfred William Waterhouse, and most importantly, a number of works by G. F. Watts, who with his Carlyle, Morris, Cardinal Manning and well-known Ellen Terry, shows himself as a great portraitist. Look for example at the brutally unflattering Baron Lawrence.
Fellow travellers of the Pre-Raphaelites include W. B. Richmond with a Robert Louis Stephenson. And of a later date, an instantly recognisable picture by J. E. Southall of himself with wife. Evelyn de Morgan has a portrait - disturbingly egg-headed - of her husband William de Morgan with pot.
Daniel Maclise is represented by awkwardly-limbed depictions of Dickens and Buchstone, and the portrait of Maclise himself is by E. M. Ward. Relevant to Trafalgar Square round the corner is John Ballantyne's picture of Landseer working on his Lions, and the same artist also shows Sir Francis Grant in his studio. The various portraits by Grant indicate that his reputation as a portraitist rested on his superb depiction of skin tones rather than of character - he does not even come close to Watts, in my opinion. Another great artist and uncompromising portraitist is Herkomer, with Baden-Powell and especially Baron Fisher. And a kindred spirit to Herkomer was Frank Holl, here represented by W. S. Gilbert and John Tenniel.
W. S. Cope has a self portrait, and notable also are the ugly self portrait by Redgrave and the rather dashing one by William Powell Frith. James Sant has a good society portrait of an opera singer, Adelina Patti. The better-known Hon. John Collier is represented by pictures of Darwin and Huxley. H. R. Pickersgill has an interesting picture of the naturalist and dinosaur discoverer Richard Owen, holding a nautilus shell and with complete hapless beast in a pickle jar beside him.
There is an overly sweet and High Victorian Landing of Princess Alexandra at Gravesend by Henry Nelson O'Neill. Thomas Jones Barker has two of his more important works, Secret of England's Greatness (Queen Victoria presenting a Bible), and The Relief of Luchnow, with dying and looting in the foreground, famous generals congratulating each other in the midground, and exotic spires and fire behind, with palms, camels and elephants. Both pictures are Orientalist in spirit.
The various Victorian photographic work includes a few pictures by Julia Margaret Cameron, including Tennyson.
There is a fine display of Victorian sculpture, including especially a range of works by J. E. Boehm, of which Henry Cole may be singled out for particular praise. E. Onslow Ford is represented by a bust of Millais, and a striking portrait of Henry Irving. Thomas Brock has a bust of Leighton, and Jules Dalou one of Legros. Oddly, Chantrey has only a Queen Victoria on show. Mention must also be made of a highly theatrical if overly sentimental Queen Victoria and Albert in Anglo Saxon Dress by William Theed.
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Victorian art in London // Trafalgar Square // Charing Cross Road