The Ballroom at Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent. © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

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The Lost Portrait of Charles Dickens at 48 Doughty Street by Louisa Price

Following a successful fundraising campaign, the Charles Dickens Museum has raised £180,000 to acquire a ‘lost portrait’ of Charles Dickens, painted by Margaret Gillies in 1843 when the author was only 31 years old. We are now preparing to put this small, striking portrait on display in the museum, which is based in 48 Doughty […]

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Catholic history and art in Berkshire – a study day to Douai Abbey and Englefield House by Matthew Williams and Sandy Gardner

July’s study day was too good an opportunity to miss, with expert-led tours of two contrasting private collections right on Reading Museum’s doorstep. We hoped that the day might reveal new insights and links to our museum’s own collections including portraits, and we were not to be disappointed. The morning started at Douai Abbey in […]

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Nuns at Douai and Coughton by Dr Mary Addyman

In my job, time to reflect and slow down can be hard to come by, and so the opportunity to spend the day thinking and learning about Catholic portraiture with a coterie of UBP delegates was one not to be missed. I work as the House Steward at Coughton Court in Warwickshire, a National Trust […]

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“Far more popular than any portrait gallery ever before”: The Sir George Scharf Sketchbooks at the National Portrait Gallery by Philip Cottrell

1857 was an annus mirabilis for both George Scharf (1820-1895) and the cultural life of the United Kingdom due to his crucial role in two watershed events: the foundation of the National Portrait Gallery and the staging of the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition. A new database devoted to Scharf’s activities during this period has now […]

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Ham House study day, and Lely at Middle Temple, by Lesley Whitelaw

The November visit to Ham House more than lived up to the very high standard of study days arranged by Understanding British Portraits. Once more the combination of excellent expert speakers covering a wide range of relevant topics, a superb venue and seamless organisation, made for a thoroughly fascinating and enjoyable day. I am very […]

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Art Detective: learning more about British portraits by Dr Marion Richards

‘The National Portrait Exhibition having led to the exposure of so many errors with regard to the portraits of British worthies and the artists who painted them – it turning out in many cases that the names given were in both respects altogether wrong – it has been suggested that county magnates and others interested […]

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