Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941)

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Social anthropologist and classical scholar, Frazer is best known for his multi-volume work 'The Golden Bough', published between 1890 and 1915, which drew upon a mass of data from all parts of the world to trace the evolution of human institutions through 'successive stages of Magic, Religion and Science'. The work was a bestseller, and Frazer is one of the most significant exponents of secularism in the twentieth century. In 1908, Frazer was named the first chair of social anthropology in Britain, at the University of Liverpool, and in 1914 he received a knighthood for his contributions to the science of anthropology.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941)






H 67 x W 31.5 x D 40 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

donated by the sitter's widow, Jilly, Lady Frazer, 1925

Work type


Inscription description

incised and dated


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