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This display marks the bicentenary of the birth of George Eliot (1819–80), one of Britain’s most renowned novelists. Born Mary Anne Evans on 22 November 1819, she embarked on her career at the relatively mature age of thirty-two, initially working for the radical London periodical, the Westminster Review. In 1859, her first novel, Adam Bede, was published to critical acclaim and she went on to write six further titles, including The Mill on the Floss(1860) and Middlemarch (1871–2), celebrated for their realism and insights into the messy complexity of human relationships. Evans adopted the pseudonym ‘George Eliot’ to retain her anonymity. Since 1853, she had been romantically involved with a married man, the writer George Henry Lewes; although separated from his wife, their relationship was regarded as improper. Eliot also had concerns about her physical appearance, as her face had been described as ‘long’, ‘pale’ and horse-like. A pen-name could avoid drawing attention to both her awkward social position and unconventional looks, and allow her novels to be judged on their own merits. Eliot’s efforts to keep a low public profile extended to the visual image, this display’s central theme. At a time when the trade in popular portraits of celebrities was flourishing, she was […]

Continuing a series of thematic explorations of the Collection, this display draws together historic and contemporary portraits that record and affirm the bonds of friendship. Featuring a diverse range of works, including photographs of Morecambe and Wise and Elizabeth Taylor with David Bowie, the portraits share a sense of the pleasure, comfort or stimulation experienced in the company of friends. Alongside recently acquired photographs, including George Harrison with Ravi Shankar, is the earliest known oil self-portrait produced in England, Gerlach Flicke’s double portrait with the pirate Henry Strangwish, which was painted in 1554 when the pair were imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Pondělí

10 am - 6 pm

Úterý

10 am - 6 pm

Středa

10 am - 6 pm

Čtvrtek

10 am - 9 pm

Pátek

10 am - 9 pm

Sobota

10 am - 6 pm

Neděle

10 am - 6 pm