Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914) commissioned this portrait of his third wife, Mary Endicott, shortly after their marriage in 1888. The picture hung at Highbury, the Chamberlain's Birmingham home, where Mary Chamberlain acted as hostess at numerous family, social and political gatherings. The portrait was executed during 1890-91 and hung in the Royal Academy exhibition of 1891 where it excited much favourable comment. Joseph Chamberlain thought it an excellent likeness of his wife and it is recorded that the artist derived great pleasure from the commission. The minutiae of the execution of the picture are exceptually well documented through the survival of Mary Chamberlain's weekly letters to her mother, Mrs. Endicott, which are in collection of the University of Birmingham library.

  • Purchased from George Chamberlain with the assistance of the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1989.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist John Everett Millais -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
John E Millais / 1891 / label on stretcher: This portrait of myself / by Sir John Millais is the / Property of Lieut. Colonel Joseph Chamberlain / Mary E. Carnegie / It was painted in / 1889 / December 1954.
Signature and date top left Painted -


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Principal Pictures of Burlington House
237 Royal Academy of Arts, London. 1891 - 1891
Works by the Late Sir John Everett Millais
164 Royal Academy of Arts, London. 1898 - 1898
The Portrait of a Lady: Sargent and Lady Agnew
40 National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh. 1997-08-08 - 1997-10-19
Millais: Portraits
55 National Portrait Gallery, London. 1999-02-16 - 1999-06-06


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Millais and his Works
M H Spielmann 1898 William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London. p. 138, 177, n. 164.
The Life and Letters of Sir John Everett Millais
John Guille Millais 1900 Methuen, London. vol. 2, p. 285, p. 485.
Important Nineteenth-Century Pictures and Continental Watercolours (27 November 1987)
1987 Christie's, London. p. 172.
The Portrait of a Lady: Sargent and Lady Agnew
1997 National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. pp. 84-85.
Millais: Portraits
1999 National Portrait Gallery, London. pp. 190, 214.


Joseph Chamberlian; George Chamberlain.

Associated people

Name Type
Mary Endicott Depicted
The Right Honourable Joseph Chamberlain Commissioned by

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