Slashed portrait of NPG founder back on show
A portrait of Thomas Carlyle, one of the founders of the National Portrait Gallery, slashed by a Suffragette in 1914, went back on display today.
The painting, by John Everett Millais, has not been on show for more than 20 years, but is part of the exhibition Vote for Women that celebrates the centenary of women achieving the vote, part of the NPG’s year-long Rebel Women season.
The attack, using a butcher’s cleaver, was carried out by Anne Hunt following the re-arrest of Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst. On the morning of July 17, while two female students were copying the picture, she struck the painting at least three times before she was restrained.
“This picture will be of added value and of great historical importance because it has been honoured by the attention of a Militant” Hunt said at her trial. She was sentenced to six months imprisonment but complained of being forcibly fed and was released a few days later on July 27.