Mr and Mrs George Henry Lewes with Thornton Leigh Hunt

William Makepeace Thackeray

Undated (late 1840s?)


6 1/8 in. x 5 in. (155 mm x 127 mm)

© National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG 4686)

Purchased, 1969

Thornton Hunt (1810-73), son of the Romantic poet and essayist Leigh Hunt, is shown standing behind Agnes and her husband G. H. Lewes. Adopting the principle of free love, Agnes would have four children by Hunt, the first in 1850, while Lewes would set up home with George Eliot. Thackeray sizes up the Lewes's marital situation neatly and a touch humorously here.

Text by Jacqueline Banerjee