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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Poet; highly regarded in her own day, her reputation now rests chiefly on Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850), and the long narrative poem, Aurora Leigh (1857); after eloping with the poet Robert Browning, she lived chiefly in Italy. Her portrait was painted as a companion piece to that of her husband. According to a label on the back of the frame, it was done 'expressly for Sophia May Eckley and pronounced by Robert Browning to be the best Portrait ever taken of the Poetess'; but at the time, Robert Browning was not convinced that it was a good likeness and wrote to Mrs Eckley that 'The portrait is not perfect certainly; the nose seems over long and there are some other errors in the face; also, the whole figure gives the idea of a larger woman than Ba'.

National Portrait Gallery, London

London


Date

1858

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 73.7 x W 58.4 cm

Accession number

1899

Acquisition method

Given by Florence Barclay, 1921

Work type

Painting


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Normally on display at

National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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