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Sir William Agnew (1825–1910), 1st Bt

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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William Agnew was the son of Thomas Agnew, a Manchester-based art dealer. He established the family firm as a leading international art dealership, trading as Thos. Agnew & Sons. He was also a Liberal Member of Parliament from 1880–1886. Agnew promoted many leading painters and dominated the art market for around thirty years. Ambitious, and with brilliant business acumen, he possessed a great personal charm that endeared him to those he dealt with. He helped form some of the great private art collections of the age, including those of Henry Tate and Lord Iveagh. On being created baronet in 1895, he was described as 'the greatest art publisher and dealer in England'.

National Portrait Gallery, London





oil on canvas


H 101 x W 127 cm

Accession number

NPG 6991

Acquisition method

purchased with the assistance of The Geoffrey and Julian Agnew Charitable Trust, 2015

Work type



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National Portrait Gallery, London

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