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John Liston (1776?-1846), Comedian and actor

Sitter associated with 15 portraits
John Liston was one of London's leading comic actors during the Regency and the first comedian to command a salary greater than that of a tragedian. An early specialist in Cockney parts, he first found fame playing the buffoon in a double-act with Charles Mathews. Snub-nosed, red-cheeked and enormously broad-bottomed, Liston had only to appear on stage to set the audience laughing. He shrewdly chose costumes to accentuate his comic appearance and specialised in physical gags and easy humour. His most famous role, Paul Pry, in John Poole's comedy of that name, set the standard for every later performer of the part.

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John Liston

after Augustin Edouart
ink, (1826)
NPG 3098


John Liston as Lubin Log in 'Love Law & Physic'

by Richard Dighton, published by Thomas McLean
hand-coloured etching, August 1819
NPG D34474


John Liston ('Mr Liston, in love law & physic')

by and published by Richard Dighton, reissued by Thomas McLean
etching, published August 1819
NPG D13337


John Liston as Dominie Sampson

by Thomas Woolnoth, after Thomas Charles Wageman
stipple engraving, published 1820
NPG D38646


John Liston

by William Ward, published by Colnaghi & Co, after John Jackson
mezzotint, published 1 January 1821
NPG D37365


John Liston

by William Ward, published by Colnaghi & Co, after John Jackson
mezzotint, published 1 January 1821
NPG D19354


Hypocrite. Act IId. Scene 1st.

by and published by John William Gear
coloured aquatint, published July 1824
NPG D9308


Maria Stanhope (née Foote), Countess of Harrington; John Liston; Charles Mathews; Charles Kemble; John Pritt Harley; Lewis Sapio; Madame Vestris

by William Thomas Fry, published by Sherwood & Co, probably after Thomas Charles Wageman
engraving, published 1825
NPG D38605


John Liston

by and published by George E. Madeley, published by Charles Ingrey
hand-coloured lithograph, published January 1826
NPG D37364


Unknown man; John Liston

by Augustin Edouart
silhouette, September 1826
NPG D403


John Liston

by Richard James Lane, printed by Charles Joseph Hullmandel, published by Joseph Dickinson
lithograph, published 24 November 1826
NPG D21952


John Liston

by Henry Sadd, published by Thomas McLean, after George Clint
mezzotint, published 23 April 1832
NPG D19044


The Rivals (John Liston; George William Frederick Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle)

by John ('HB') Doyle, printed by Alfred Ducôte, published by Thomas McLean
lithograph, published 7 March 1836
NPG D41359


John Liston as Billy Lackaday in 'Sweethearts and Wives'

by T. Marlay
watercolour, early 19th century
NPG D5778