- Museum number
Portrait of Sir Frederic Madden (1801-73). H.L., seated, turned half-r., wearing black coat and stock; red curtain in background. Oil on canvas.
- Production date
Height: 95 centimetres
Width: 60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Sir Frederic Madden joined the Museum in 1828, becoming Keeper of Manuscripts in 1837. He retired in 1866. He is one of the great nineteenth-century diarists, whose 40-volume diary, estimated at four million words and still not fully published, covers the years 1819 to 1872. It includes fascinating details of 19th-century life, scholarly references to manuscripts and an account of the British Museum at a time when the staff lived on site. Madden was a noted palaeographer whose Museum career was blighted by a longstanding feud with the librarian Antonio Panizzi (q.v.), and resentment at his failure, in the light of his long service and undoubted brilliance as a scholar, to be appointed Principal Librarian. In a fit of pique he bequeathed his diaries to the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
The portrait was Lithographed by W. Drummond, 1837.
This portrait has been dated by Michael Borrie (New DNB) to 1837.
The Department of Manuscripts at the British Library has another portrait of Madden, executed when he was older, on loan from a descendant (MSS Loan 116).
- Exhibition history
Department of Manuscripts Students Room.
- Examined 2.iv.63. Needs cleaning and the canvas re-hung on its stretcher.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Trustees' Standing Committee Minutes, 10 February 1923 (c. 3994) On a report by Mr Gilson, 6 February, of the bequest by Mrs Windham Holley of a portrait of her father, Sir Frederic Madden, KH, Keeper of Manuscripts, 1837-66, the Trustees approved the recommendation that the portrait be accepted and hung in the Department of Manuscripts, and that thanks be returned to the executors, through Mr F H Madden .
Book of Presents (1923, No. 276) - letter from F H Madden, 30 January 1923 - 'My aunt, the late Mrs Windham Holley ... died on 17th inst. last' - (Extract from will) 'To the Trustees of the British Museum the small oil painting of my father Sir Frederic Madden painted in or about 1822, which was engraved in that year. And I direct that the said painting shall have a label attached to it stating that it was bequeathed to the Trustees of the British Museum by Mrs Windham Holley the only daughter of Sir Frederic Madden KH, FRS'
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number