Portrait bust of Mary Somerville in Newbridge House, County Dublin

Site navigation - please use menu on left (click here to display it if not visible). If problems, use site map.

In June 2017, Colin Hindle, formerly of Burntisland and now living in Ireland, was visiting Newbridge House, County Dublin, and came across a bust of Mary Somerville on display there. This is Colin's photo of the bust.

The staff on duty at Newbridge on the day of Colin's visit weren't able to give him any information about the bust, so he did some research himself. He discovered that Mary Somerville and Frances Power Cobbe were good friends, and that Newbridge House (where the bust is displayed) was the family home of the Cobbe family from 1736 to 1985.

There is a copy of the bust on display in Vassar College, New York, and an article with more information about the Newbridge bust and the Vassar copy can be seen here. According to the article, the Newbridge bust was created in 1844 in Rome by Lawrence MacDonald. Mary Somerville would have been about 63 years of age at the time.

The bust was daughter Martha's favourite likeness of her mother, and a photo of it formed the frontispiece of (and indeed was the only illustration in) Martha's 1873 book, "Personal Recollections, from Early Life to Old Age, of Mary Somerville, with Selections from her Correspondence".

Our thanks to Colin for the photo and background information.

Bust of Mary Somerville

Webpage by Iain Sommerville; Help on bookmarking this page.