Jane Austen,  Regency,  Research

What Jane Saw

At the University of Texas in Austin, Professor Janine Barchas has created (or rather recreated) the art exhibit at the British Institution in Pall Mall that Jane Austen wrote about visiting on May 24, 1813.

What Jane Saw is a wonderful site and a wonderful resource for art exhibits during our period.  Each room of the exhibit is faithfully (as far as possible) reproduced.  The floor plan allows you to see the paintings as they were exhibited and each painting is clickable, taking you to a larger image and historical information.  Moreover, it includes a scan of the exhibit catalog

Mrs. Bingley?

This exhibit does not include the portrait of Mrs. Bingley that Jane Austen mentions finding in this letter,  That portrait has been identified as  Portrait of Mrs. Q (Mrs. Harriet Quentin) by William Blake.  This was, obviously, not in the Joshua Reynolds exhibit reproduced on What Jane Saw.  According to the letter, she saw this at at Spring Gardens.

But don’t let the fact that this exhibit doesn’t include Mrs. Bingley stop you from visiting.  I dare say you’ll want to linger a while.

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Elena Greene
9 years ago

Wish I could go to this! Is there any chance it will tour?

9 years ago

Elena, this is an on-line recreation of the exhibit. You can tour the exhibit by going to the linked site.

Elena Greene
9 years ago
Reply to  Myretta

Doh! I get so used to hearing about exhibits in big cities I can’t easily get to. I did wonder how one could assemble all those items, though. Feeling a little stupid, but going to go check it out now. Thanks.

Amanda McCabe
9 years ago


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