Object Image

Portrait of Dame Margaret Tuke

In this portrait, Francis Dodd draws on conventions used in Renaissance portraiture. The fictive marble shelf, borrowed from Venetian painting, bears an illusionistic letter with the artist’s signature. The green curtain hanging in the background and the sitter’s fur collar recall 16th century portraits of scholars like Erasmus. Dame Margaret Tuke (1862-1947) was herself a modern and medieval languages scholar. From 1907-1929 she was the Principal of Bedford College, which merged with Royal Holloway College in 1985. In 1937, several decades before the merger, Tuke gave the Library of Royal Holloway College a collection of Italian Renaissance manuscripts. This portrait was commissioned on her election as a Fellow of Bedford College in 1930.

Royal Holloway and Bedford New College Art Collections. Acquired in the merger with Bedford College, 1985 (P0020)

Oil on canvas

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