By George Beccaloni. Last updated 24/1/2022
Paintings & Drawings
Portrait in oils (289 mm x 225 mm) of Wallace in the National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG 1765), painted by an unknown artist in c. 1869 when ARW was 46, over a photograph by Wallace's brother-in-law Thomas Sims. It was donated by Wallace's children William and Violet in 1916. Also see here. [Note that this painting is currently in storage, despite the fact that the Gallery has portraits of every other important evolutionist of the nineteenth century on public display! This omission was recently pointed out in this excellent article in the New York Times.]
Portrait in coloured chalk of Wallace's head (life-size) by William Strang in 1908, in the library of Windsor Castle.
Pencil sketch by William Rothenstein in 1904.
Portrait in oils by J. W. Beaufort in 1923 in The Natural History Museum, London. This was commissioned by the Wallace Memorial Committee and unveiled at the Museum on the 23rd June 1923 (see Alfred Russel Wallace. Memorial portrait at South Kensington. The Times. June 25, 1923). It was painted by Beaufort, without charge, from photographs and hung in Central Hall of the Museum until 1971 [see Thackray, 1995] It is now on display in its original position in the Central Hall of the NHM. To see a video of its second unveiling by comedian Bill Bailey in January 2013 click HERE.
The Natural History Museum's portrait of Wallace. © The Natural History Museum, London
- Portrait in oils by Victor Evstafieff (Eustaphieff, Evstaf’ev, Eustapiev) of Wallace as a young man in the Malay Archipelago sitting at a table with two king bird-of-paradise specimens on it. It was painted in 1958 for the State Darwin Museum in Moscow and donated in the same year by the founder of that museum, Alexander Kohts, to London's Natural History Museum via the then Director Sir Gavin de Beer. The Museum then gave it to Down House, Kent, where it still is today. [It is not currently on public display]
Wallace in the Malay Archipelago. A painting by Evstafieff in the collection of Down House. © English Heritage Photo Library
Portrait of Wallace in Richard Hale School by David Gentleman.
- Portrait in oils of Wallace by Roger Remington in the Meeting Room of the Linnean Society of London. It was unveiled on 28th May 1998 and hangs alongside a portrait of Charles Darwin.
Portrait of Wallace in the Meeting Room of the Linnean Society of London.
Wallace is featured on The Broadstone Tapestry, which is on display in Broadstone Methodist Church, Broadstone, Dorset. For more information CLICK HERE.
- Portrait, pastel on cardboard by Mikhail Dmitrievich Ezuchevsky (1879-1928). Dimensions 1000 x 800 mm. Created in 1923 for exhibition in the State Darwin Museum, Moscow, Russia (catalogue number KP OF-7667/377).
"Alfred Russel Wallace with the savages" by Mikhail Dmitrievich Ezuchevsky
© State Darwin Museum
- Portrait of Wallace in Sarawak, Borneo by Vasily Alekseyevich Vatagin (1883 – 1969) in 1920 in State Darwin Museum, Russia (catalogue number KP OF-7667/461). Dimensions 215 x 142 cm.
© State Darwin Museum
Portrait in oils of Portrait in oils of Wallace by Indonesian artist Hardjanto in 2009. One copy is owned by the Indonesian Academy of Sciences in Jakarta, another by a former mayor on the island of Ternate.
Mural 'Wallace Meets Rousseau' in Hertford, painted in 2013.
- Wallace graffiti on wall of building on the island of Ternate, Indonesia.
Bill Bailey with Wallace graffiti in Ternate, Indonesia, 2012. © BBC.
- Graffiti mural of Wallace on external wall of football stadium on the island of Ternate, Indonesia
Old graffiti of Wallace on wall of Ternate football stadium in 2014. © Jan Beccaloni
Graffiti mural of Wallace in Cordoba, Spain. Also see http://www.uco.es/uconews/cienciaclandestina/
Graffiti mural of Wallace in artist Marlon Brown's 'wild wall' mural at New leaf Dulwich.
West Dulwich station, London, UK
Wallace in artist Marlon Brown's 'wild wall' mural
Medallions and plaques
- Oval medallion, in plaster (279 mm x 232 mm), in the National Portrait Gallery, London, (NPG 1764) of Wallace's head and shoulders in profile facing right (note that "Russel" is misspelled). This was made by Albert Bruce-Joy (1842-1924) in 1906 and modeled from photographs and from life. It was donated by Wallace's children William and Violet in 1916. This is most similar to the silver medallion of Wallace displayed at the Royal Academy in 1908 (see below, and note the detail of the beard). However, it is also very close to the bronze and silvered copper versions listed below. Also see here.
Plaster medallion owned by National Portrait Gallery (NPG 1764). © National Portrait Gallery, London.
Oval medallion, in bronze, 260 mm x 215 mm in the Linnean Society of London of Wallace's head and shoulders in profile facing right. Made by Albert Bruce-Joy and donated in 1916 by Rev. James Marchant on behalf of the Alfred Russel Wallace Memorial Fund. On 18 December 2009 a bronze replica of this medallion was unveiled at the Richard Hale School in Hertford (click HERE). It hangs near the door into the school dining room. This door, made in 1667 was the original main door to the old Hale's Grammar School building (Wallace's old school). Note that the Linnean's medallion was stolen in 20??, but the Society managed to obtain another copy which looks very similar to the Wellcome's medallion. More details to follow.
Medallion in Linnean Society.
Excerpt from the report of the May 24th 1916 meeting of the Linnean Society.
Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, p. 17).
- Oval medallion (c. 270 mm x 220 mm) by Albert Bruce-Joy of Wallace's head and shoulders in profile facing right, in the Wellcome Library, London (object number ICV No 18440). This medallion appears to be identical to the example in the Linnean Society. The Wellcome Library catalogue says it is made from plaster, but it looks like bronze.
Medallion in Wellcome Library. © Wellcome Images
A silver version of Bruce-Joy's medallion of Wallace (possibly smaller) was displayed at the Royal Academy and other venues in Britain in 1908 [see this link]. In the footnote to a letter to his son William dated May 17th 1908 (NHM library finding number WP1/1/140) Wallace says "Mr Bruce-Joy has just written to tell me that his medallion of me, in silver is in the R.A. this year & well shown. If you go through London & have time you had better go & see it."
Photograph from Black & White magazine, May 30, 1908, p. 682, of a silver medallion of Wallace
by Albert Bruce-Joy which was displayed at the Royal Academy in 1908.
- An electrotype copy (probably made of silvered copper) of a small (73mm in height) version of the bronze medallion above is owned by the Wallace family. Curiously, the inscription seen above the portrait on the larger versions is faintly visible, but either has not copied well or has been deliberately removed. A mould of this object was made in 2013 by the Wallace Memorial Fund in collaboration with Cranfield's Cabinet of Curiosities and a number of copies were cast in bronze and sterling silver. These are the Memorial Fund's bronze and silver Wallace Medals, which the Fund awards for outstanding contributions to Wallace scholarship or the public understanding of his life and work. On November 7th 2013 (the 100th anniversary of Wallace's death) silver medals were presented by the Fund to Sir David Attenborough and Bill Bailey in recognition of their important contributions to the public understanding of Wallace's life and work during the anniversary year. Note that we believe this object to have been produced by electrotyping as it has characteristic small round nodules of metal on its back.
Small silver medallion owned by Wallace family. © G. W. Beccaloni.
- Circular medallion, in white marble, of Wallace's head and shoulders in profile facing left (a mirror image of Wallace), in Westminster Abbey in the North Aisle of the Choir, between those of Charles Darwin and Joseph Lister. It is inscribed "ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE 1823-1913". This was commissioned by the Wallace Memorial Committee and carved by Albert Bruce-Joy, who based it on the earlier medallion he had made of Wallace facing right. It was unveiled on 1st November 1915. For more information CLICK HERE.
The Westminster Abbey medallion. This photograph was taken c. 1915. Scanned from an original
print owned by the Wallace family. Copyright of scan: A. R. Wallace Memorial Fund & G. W. Beccaloni.
- Circular medallion, in plaster (some damage), in the Natural History Museum, London, of Wallace's head and shoulders facing left (55 cm in diameter (including the outer rim) and 5 cm thick). This was made by Albert Bruce-Joy in 1914 and is inscribed: ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE - 1906" and signed "1914 A. Bruce-Joy St(?)." Thackery (1995) states "Provenance: Unknown, but in the Museum since at least 1931. There is a bronze version at the Linnean Society and a plaster copy at the National Portrait Gallery." Note that this medallion is similar but different to the marble medallion in Westminster Abbey. The medallion in the National Portrait gallery is much smaller, was made earlier, and depicts Wallace facing right, rather than left, as does the medallion in the Linnean Society. The Wallace Memorial Fund's resin bronze plaques are casts of this medallion.
Resin bronze replica of Natural History Museum's plaster medallion. © G. W. Beccaloni
The Darwin-Wallace Medal of the Linnean Society of London which was designed by Frank Bowcher in 1906. It was awarded on 1st July of 1908 and again in 1958 to commemorate the 50th and 100th anniversaries of the reading of the Darwin and Wallace papers proposing natural selection. The Medal has a profile of Darwin on the obverse and a full-face image of Wallace, minus glasses, on the reverse. The 1908 version of the medal has the marginal inscription "LINN: SOC: LOND: 1858 - 1908" on both sides, whilst the 1958 version has "LINN: SOC: LOND: 1858 - 1958" instead. Wallace was the first recipient of this medal (the only gold example ever made) on the 50th anniversary of the reading of the papers.
- The plaster model for the obverse of the Linnean Society's Darwin-Wallace medal, showing the "Bust of Alfred Russell [sic] Wallace to front, bearded. Inscribed LINN: SOC: LONDON: 1858-1908 WALLACE and F. BOWCHER 1908. Diameter 174 mm, thickness 16 mm" is in the British Museum (BM-2004,0107.22-Coins-Medals).
Busts and statues
- Bust, in plaster, in the State Darwin Museum, Moscow (catalogue number KP OF-7667/1648) sculpted by Vasily Alekseyevich Vatagin (1883 – 1969) in 1919. Dimensions 100 х 54 х 70 cm. The description (translated into English) and an image of it are shown below:
- Bust, in plaster, in the State Darwin Museum, Moscow (catalogue number KP OF-7667/1865) sculpted by Vasily Alekseyevich Vatagin (1883 – 1969) in 1958. Dimensions 70 х 50 х 40 cm. The description (translated into English) and an image of it are shown below:
- A copy of what must be the same bust as the above, was donated to the Natural History Museum, London. Thackery (1995) states "Provenance: Presented by the Museum Darwinianum [State Darwin Museum], Moscow, through Professor A. E. Kohts, in 1959. Notes: Uniform with the bust of Darwin by Watagin." The Natural History Museum have tried to locate this bust of Wallace, but it appears to be missing. For more information see the following letters: LETTER1, LETTER2, LETTER3
A life size sculpture by Keith Godwin of Alfred Russel Wallace (together with matching sculptures of Charles Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley) was exhibited at the Festival of Britain, London: South Bank Exhibition, in 1951 in the section entitled "The Living World". I do not know what happened to this statue and I have not seen an image of it.
- Statue in bronze of Wallace looking up at a bronze model of a golden birdwing butterfly by Anthony Smith. This was commissioned by the Wallace Memorial Fund and given to the London Natural History Museum, where it was unveiled by Sir David Attenborough on November 7th 2013 - the 100th anniversary of Wallace's death. An image of the statue taken in November 2013 by Anthony Smith is shown below.
- Bronze portrait bust of Wallace as a young man by sculptor Anthony Smith. Unveiled at the National Botanic Garden of Wales on May 15th 2015.
The bust in 2015. © Edward Cooper
- Sculpture in bronze resin by sculptor Rodney Munday on the exterior wall of Hertford Theatre, Hertford, UK, which was unveiled in October 2014. It shows Wallace reaching for a bird of paradise.
The Hertford sculpture.
- Life-size bronze resin portrait bust of Wallace on granith plinth by sculptor Jane Robbins. Donated to the Linnean Society by the artist in November 2015.
Linnean Society bust of Wallace.
- 1.5 meter tall bust of Wallace in painted concrete, on a 2.6 meter high plinth at Tangkoko Nature Reserve in north-east Sulawesi, Indonesia. It was sculpted by Hendra Susanto and inaugurated on the 21st February 2019. For more information see https://wallacefund.myspecies.info/content/impressive-new-monument-alfred-russel-wallace-sulawesi-indonesia
The Tangkoko bust
- Statue with life-size bronze figures of Alfred Russel Wallace and his faithful Malay assistant Ali, outside the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in Singapore. They were sculpted by Chang Ting Hsuan, Lim XingYi, Subashri Sankarasubramanian and Lim Soo Ngee of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa), and unveiled on 30th August 2019. Wallace is pointing at a sculpture of a male Wallace's Standardwing Bird of Paradise on a nearby pillar, and Ali has his gun ready. The scene is from the island of Bacan in Indonesia in 1858, where Wallace and Ali discovered this bird, which at the time was new to science. For more information CLICK HERE.
The Singapore statue
Slotten, Ross A. 2004. The Heretic in Darwin's Court: The Life of Alfred Russel Wallace. New York: Columbia University Press. 602 pp.
Thackray, J. C. A. (1995). A catalogue of portraits, paintings and sculpture at the Natural History Museum, London. (Historical Studies in the Life and Earth Sciences No. 3). Mansell, London. 70pp.