William Wilberforce portrait to be shown in home city of Hull for first time

The move is part of a new National Portrait Gallery project called Coming Home.

Sir Thomas Lawrence’s famous painting of the man who led Britain’s campaign to abolish slavery, William Wilberforce, is to be exhibited in the former MP’s home city of Hull for the first time as part of a major new project launched by the National Portrait Gallery.

The initiative, called Coming Home, will see 50 portraits of famous individuals from the gallery’s collection travel across the country to the places they are most closely associated with.

Lawrence’s unfinished portrait of Wilberforce was one of the first works acquired by the National Portrait Gallery when it was established in 1856. 

Coming Home project
A member of staff studies Sir Thomas Lawrence’s portrait of William Wilberforce at the National Portrait Gallery in London (John Stillwell/PA)

The work will go on display in the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull next year.

A 16th century portrait of Richard III will also be loaned to the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester, the city in which the king was buried.

Painter David Hockney’s Self-Portrait With Charlie will be displayed at the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery in his home town of Bradford.

Coming Home project
The portrait of Richard III will be going on display in Leicester, where the king was buried (John Stillwell/PA)

Artist Tracey Emin’s Death Mask sculpture will be shown in her childhood home of Margate in Kent for the first time as part of the scheme.

New Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright attended the launch of the initiative at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

Mr Wright said: “Every corner of the UK has well-known faces who have played a significant role in our nation’s history.

“I am delighted that 50 of these famous figures will be returning home so that current generations can be inspired by their stories.

“We are determined to ensure that more of the UK can see some of our world-class art collections, and, with thanks to the National Portrait Gallery, Coming Home is an exciting first step in the right direction.”

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