Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Carpenter, Margaret Sarah

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CARPENTER, MARGARET SARAH (1793–1872), portrait-painter, daughter of Captain Alexander Geddes, born at Salisbury in 1793, first studied art from Lord Radnor's collection at Longford Castle, and obtained a gold medal from the Society of Arts for the study of a boy's head. She went up to London in 1814 and established herself as a portrait-painter of much reputation. In 1817 she married William Hookham Carpenter [q. v.], keeper of prints and drawings in the British Museum, upon whose death in 1866 her majesty granted her a pension of 100l. per annum. She died in London 13 Nov. 1872. Between 1818 and 1866 she exhibited 147 pictures at the Royal Academy, fifty at the British Institution, and nineteen at the Society of British Artists. Her last work was the portrait of Dr. Whewell. Among her other portraits were those of Lord Kilcoursie (1812), Mr. Baring (1815), Lord de Tabley (1829), and Archbishop Sumner (1852). Her portraits of Fraser Tytler, John Gibson, and Bonington are in the National Portrait Gallery. In the South Kensington Museum she is represented by ‘Devotion—St. Francis’ (a life-size study of the head of Anthony Stewart, the miniature painter), ‘The Sisters’ (portraits of her two daughters), ‘Ockham Church’ (a sketch), and ‘An Old Woman spinning,’ and also by a water-colour study from nature. A sister of Mrs. Carpenter married W. Collins, R.A., and was the mother of Mr. Wilkie Collins.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists, 1878; Bryan's Dict. of Painters (Graves); Graves's Dict. of Artists; Catalogues of National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery at South Kensington Museum; Artists of Nineteenth Century; Art Journal, 1873.]

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