Emily Jane Brontë
The originalEmily Jane Brontë  (1818 - 1848)
c. 1833 / 1834

By Patrick Branwell Brontë

This painting fragment is all that remains of a much larger portrait. The original, commonly known as the 'Gun Group portrait', showed all three sisters along with their brother (the artist) Branwell. Sometime after 1861, when Patrick - the last of the Brontës - had died, Charlotte's husband, the Reverend Arthur Bell Nicholls, destroyed the rest of this picture as he regarded the likenesses of the other three to be so poor.

This is my restoration attempt of the picture; however, I am not totally happy with the end result. While it is nice to see the painting complete and appearing undamaged (unlike the original, shown above) - some of the life-like element of the face and hair has been lost. I hope, eventually, to produce a better version.

A larger version of this image is available - EMILY.JPG (89K)

Emily Jane Brontė  (c.1834) -  restored and extended portrait

Emily was born on 30th July 1818; and being only eighteen months older than Anne, the two were extremely close throughout their childhood and youth. Ellen Nussey declared that 'she and Anne were like twins - inseparable companions, and in the very closest sympathy which never had any interruption.'  However, as they grew into womanhood, this closeness gradually waned as their views on religion and various aspects of life began to diverge. Years later, in her poem 'Self Communion', Anne described the pair as being like two trees that 'at the root were one', yet whose 'stems must stand alone'.

Emily produced only one novel - the all-time classic Wuthering Heights (1847) which was initially published under her pseudonym, Ellis Bell. She is now also highly regarded for her poetry. Emily died of consumption (tuberculosis) on 19 December 1848 aged 30.


Restoration work Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

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