The lost portrait of a young Charles Dickens found


A portrait of the young “charismatic” Charles Dickens has been unearthed in South Africa after 174 years.

it has lost its likeness was painted during the same period the author was working on A Christmas Carol and was last seen in public when exhibited in 1844.

It shows the 31-year-old emerging novelist as he was beginning to make a name for himself and on the cusp of the wide fame his Christmas fable would bring him.

The portrait will finally go on display again, having appeared in a trinket box in South Africa, in time for the 175th anniversary of the publication of A Christmas Carol.

It was painted by female artist Margaret Gillies, who attempted to search for it while she was alive. It has now been identified by art dealers Philip Mold And Company.

Mold said: “This portrait adds a great deal to our perception of the charismatic young man that Dickens was at the time and is so different from the avuncular, bearded man we know from the photographs.

“Unlike other literary portraits of the time, which can be stereotypical, the subject stares at you with a striking gaze, boring you with the same eyes that recorded a multitude of documents about his life and times.”

The miniature portrait’s permanent residence is intended to be the Charles Dickens Museum. Funds will need to be raised to ensure the future of the likeness.


Comments are closed.