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.

Details

Medium:
Crayon & chalk
Dimensions:
47 x 31 cm
Art Fund grant:
£3,125 ( Total: £29,406)
Acquired in:
1996
Vendor:
Sotheby's

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.

Provenance

Horace N. Pym.

Venue details

Charles Dickens Museum 48 Doughty Street, LONDON London WC1N 2LX 020 7405 2127 www.dickensmuseum.com

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £9)

Tue–Sun, 10am–5pm 

Closed 25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan

Open until 8pm once a month, on selected Thursdays. Please see website for more details.

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