What is an orphan?

Of course you may know who owns a portrait shown on this site and who it is of—in which case it may only be me that is ignorant and it is not really an orphan at all. This question was raised in The Guardian’s ‘Notes & Queries’ on 31 March 2010: ‘When a major work of art is sold to an anonymous buyer, does it completely vanish or do insiders in the art world know where it is?’ No answer was forthcoming, so I can but hope that this site will do better.

In this category should be the portrait of Redcliffe Salaman on the Found! page: while it was documented in the 1980s in the Dictionary of British portraiture (there was no illustration) no member of the family I have been in touch with knew of it, so I have decided to include it.

If you know the location of any portrait on this site do please get in touch with me via the contact page of this site, details will not be published unless expressly authorised by the owner.

The National Portrait Gallery has its own collection of orphans, defined more narrowly as portraits for which they have no copyright details, which can be found here.

It would be wonderful if every portrait on this site could be moved to my pages devoted to found orphans.

As the site is devoted just to orphans there are a number of other portraits of distant cousins that I cannot include, by Vanessa Bell, Sir Thomas Brock, Augustus John, Duncan Grant, Edna Clarke Hall, William Holman Hunt, Lily Delissa Joseph, George Henry Paulin, Sir William Rothenstein, John Singer Sargent, Simeon Solomon and Solomon Joseph Solomon, simply because they are not lost.

bringing together ‘orphan’ portraits and
Orphan of the Month


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