With a high proportion of the portraits in he National Gallery being men, and most of the rest being women aristocrats who are there more because of the office they were born to, or who they were married to (or had affairs with), rather than anything they achieved, we thought our theme would be the remainder. We show you talented women who have been painted because of their achievements– artists, artistes, aviators, nurses, philanthropists, politicians, writers. And it makes sense to concentrate on pre-late 20th century, because the late 20th/21st century exhibits on the ground floor close to the entrance get the most crowded. So we’ll show and tell you about some of the following: Mary Wolstencraft, Sarah Siddons, Mary Beale, Octavia Hill, George Eliot, the Brontes, Mary Seacole, Florence Nightingale, Ellen Terry, Emmeline Pankhurst, Amy Johnson, Vanessa Bell, Beatrix Potter, Odette Marie Celine. To show you 14 portraits on one tour would be overkill so let us know in which of these women you are particularly interested.
Given the logistics of guiding a large party around a museum, this walk is best for smallish sized groups.
Start and Finish: Trafalgar Square/Charing Cross underground station