Collection Item 

Sarah Osborne c 1860

By Unknown artist

This portrait of wealthy widow, Irish-born Sarah Osborne, reflects a sombre mood. It captures the sitter’s grief at the loss of Henry, her husband of 50 years, compounded by the death of her 18-year-old son John to consumption just three weeks later. In her hand, Sarah holds a letter on black-edged paper, indicating a condolence letter.

After the death of her husband, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria assumed lifelong mourning. Following her model, grieving protocols became more intense in the Australian colonies throughout the second half of the 19th century.

Collection Item Type:
Oil on canvas
Call Number:
ML 1232
Published date:
c 1860
On display:
Exhibition Galleries
Copyright Information:

Out of copyright: Artist died before 1955

Please acknowledge: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Display Location:
Exhibition Galleries

Historical Dates

Started Monday, 1 January 1855
Finished Sunday, 31 December 1865