The free display will also feature first editions of Jane Eyre, her first published novel, which enjoyed immediate and enduring popularity as well as Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography, Life of Charlotte Brontë.
New research about the famous painting of the literary Brontë sisters, by their brother Branwell, will also be revealed, exploring the intriguing story of its discovery folded on top of a wardrobe, subsequent acquisition by the gallery and its restoration.
The display will also include the chalk drawings of Charlotte and her friend and first biographer Elizabeth Gaskell by George Richmond, alongside portraits of Charlotte Brontë’s heroes and associates such as the Duke of Wellington, poet Lord Byron and novelist William Thackeray.
Celebrating Charlotte Brontë 1816-1855 is curated by the National Portrait Gallery’s Associate Curator Rosie Broadley and assisted by Lucy Wood, Assistant Curator who said, “This rare chance to see the only painted portrait of Charlotte Brontë alongside illuminating personal treasures from the Brontë Parsonage Museum provides a fascinating opportunity to celebrate her life and remarkable achievements as one of the most celebrated authors of the 19th century”.
In Yorkshire, at the epicentre of the thriving international Brontë industry, the Brontë Society and the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth have invited the novelist Tracy Chevalier to be a “creative partner” for the bicentenary year, to explore creative ways of responding to the Brontë legacy.
The acclaimed writer, whose works include Girl with a Pearl Earring, has developed an exhibition called I Shall Go Off Like a Bombshell which, through objects and quotations “explores the contrast between Charlotte’s constricted life and her huge ambition”.
Many of the loans from the Parsonage Museum as well as works from the National Portrait Gallery Collection will be exhibited in the United States for the first time at the Morgan Library in New York in autumn 2016 as the Bronte Society looks to “bring the Brontës to the world and the world to Yorkshire” through events, exhibitions and partnership projects. Read all on"culture24
More on the Brontës:
Public floggings, embezzlements and shocks: Unpublished Charlotte Brontë manuscripts bought by museum
Patti Smith makes literary pilgrimage to play benefit gig for Brontë Parsonage Museum
"Little gem" portrait of Charlotte Brontë buddy Mrs Hudson back at Parsonage Museum
Brontë Society secures Charlotte Brontë letters used by Elizabeth Gaskell