Charles Dickens by Samuel Laurence

Laurence was so proud of this portrait of the young Dickens that he kept it with him until his death.


Crayon & chalk
47 x 31 cm
Art Fund grant:
£3,125 ( Total: £29,406)
Acquired in:

Beautifully worked, it depicts the author as he was when he lived and worked at 48 Doughty Street, now the Dickens House Museum. Dickens's dislike of the various workings of his face is well documented. Nevertheless he was quite satisfied with Laurence's portrayal, signing it and commissioning a second for himself. In its engraved form, it was the first portrait of him to be sold to the public. In April 1838 Dickens wrote to Laurence concerning another portrait, this time one of his wife who was at that time 'alarmingly ill'. As soon as Catherine recovered, her portrait was also undertaken. This portrait was a pair to the portrait of Catherine Dickens and the grant went towards the acquisition of both works.


Horace N. Pym.

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