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Robert Southey (1774-1843), Poet Laureate

Sitter in 17 portraits
A poet and man of letters, Southey was a youthful republican whose enthusiasm for the French Revolution can be seen in The Fall of Robespierre which he wrote with Coleridge in 1794. In 1803 he joined Coleridge in the Lake District where he met Wordsworth. The three were dubbed the 'Lake School' by the critic Francis Jeffrey. Southey was Poet Laureate from 1813 to his death. Despite Byron's quip about his 'blank verse and blanker prose', his prose is commonly regarded as superior to his poetry. He wrote numerous essays and reviews for the periodical press. His association with the Tory Quarterly Review signalled the beginning of his role as a spokesman for the conservative establishment.

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Robert Southey

by Peter Vandyke
oil on canvas, 1795
On display in Room 18 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 193


Robert Southey

by Robert Hancock
black, red and brown chalk and pencil, 1796
NPG 451


Robert Southey

by Henry Edridge
pencil, chalk and wash, 1804
NPG 119


Robert Southey

by Mary Dawson Turner (née Palgrave), after Thomas Phillips
pencil, (1815)
NPG 4071


Robert Southey

by Edward Nash
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, 1820
NPG 4028


Robert Southey

by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey
marble bust, 1832
On display in Room 18 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3956


Robert Southey

by Edward William Wyon
wax medallion, 1835
NPG 2681


Robert Southey

by John Graham Lough
marble bust, 1845
NPG 841


Robert Southey

by Henry Meyer, after John Jackson
stipple engraving, published 1814
NPG D6816


Robert Southey

by Mary Dawson Turner (née Palgrave), after Thomas Phillips
etching, (1815)
NPG D22592


Robert Southey

by Mary Dawson Turner (née Palgrave), after Thomas Phillips
etching, (1815)
NPG D15738


Robert Southey

by Samuel William Reynolds, after Thomas Phillips
mezzotint, 1823 or before
NPG D6815


Robert Southey

by and published by Henry Edward Dawe, published by Martin Colnaghi, after Samuel Lane
mezzotint, published 20 February 1826
NPG D19945


Robert Southey

by Peter Lightfoot, after Sir Thomas Lawrence
line engraving, published 1845
NPG D6817


Robert Southey

by William Henry Egleton, after John Opie
stipple and line engraving, published 1849
NPG D6814


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