'Eagle-Eyed' Lost Portrait of Dickens will be on display for one week in April


We are thrilled to announce that the ‘lost portrait’ of Charles Dickens, recently re-discovered after 174 years, will go on public display for one week this April in the Charles Dickens Museum. The exquisite portrait miniature by Margaret Gillies will be displayed from 2-7 April in the Study at 48 Doughty Street, the room in which Dickens wrote Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, completed The Pickwick Papers and began Barnaby Rudge.

Lost Portrait by Margaret Gillies

The Museum is in the midst of a public campaign to raise the necessary funds to secure the future of the painting and bring it permanently to Doughty Street. So far, it has raised £65,000 of the £180,000 needed to purchase the portrait.

“We are excited to be bringing the beautiful lost portrait to the Museum. When Philip Mould contacted us last year, and we were able to see an image of the painting, it was a thrilling moment. The discovery would have been remarkable in any event but it is even more so because the portrait itself is exquisite. The skill of the artist is evident in the fineness of every brushstroke, in each strand of hair and the sparkling eyes that look right into yours. And in those eyes you see the complexity of the man – the confidence of success, the urgency, warmth and compassion, but also a hint of vulnerability. This display is only a fleeting one, but we are confident of raising the remaining funds needed to bring the portrait to the Museum permanently. We are very grateful to everybody who has donated to the cause so far and urge those with a love of Dickens to help us reach our fundraising goal.” 
- Dr. Cindy Sughrue, director of the Charles Dickens Museum.


If you are interested in donating please see our Lost Portrait Appeal page and help us provide a permanent home for the exquisite painting. 

Should you wish to visit the museum during the week of the portrait display, you can book tickets in advance here.

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