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Anna Brownell Jameson (1794–1860), née Murphy

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Daughter of miniaturist D. B. Murphy, Anna Brownell Murphy spent some years as a governess before marrying a lawyer, Robert Jameson, in 1825. The marriage was unsuccessful and he went to Canada to pursue his legal career. She remained in London, becoming one of the first art historians and critics, earning her living by writing and also promoted women's rights. Her husband wanted her to visit him in Canada so she went reluctantly from 1836 to 1838. Her experiences were extraordinary, including crossing Lake Huron in a canoe paddled by five Native Americans. On Anna's return to Britain, her husband granted her £300 a year, allowing her to write in comfort. After his death her friends then supported her.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Anna Brownell Jameson (1794–1860), née Murphy






H 60 x W (?) x D (?) cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

transferred from National Museum of Science and Industry, 1883

Work type


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