The Children of Charles Dickens by Daniel Maclise

One of the leading caricaturists and history painters of his day, Irishman Daniel Maclise was spoken of by his contemporaries as 'out and away the greatest artist that ever lived'.


Pencil on paper
Height 38 cm
Art Fund grant:
£8,000 ( Total: £28,500)
Acquired in:
Private collection

He created this group portrait of the Dickens children to convince Catherine Dickens to join her husband Charles on a visit to America, which the author called 'the republic of my imagination'. Catherine was reluctant to accompany Charles on the transatlantic journey, as she was unwilling to be separated from her children for the duration of the trip. A close friend of the Dickens family, Maclise offered to draw a portrait of the children to take on the voyage so that Catherine would always have her children near her. The drawing shows Charley, Katey, Mamie and Walter alongside Grip, Charles Dickens's pet raven. It will go on display alongside two of Maclise's portraits of Catherine Dickens and the museum's editions of Charles Dickens's novel The Chimes, featuring illustrations by Maclise.


Charles Dickens; by descent.

Venue details

Charles Dickens Museum 48 Doughty Street, LONDON London WC1N 2LX 020 7405 2127

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £9)

Tue–Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays, 10am–5pm (last admission 4pm)

Closed Mondays, 25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan