Search the Collection

Robert Bakewell (1725-1795), Stock-breeder

Sitter in 1 portrait
Often called the 'father of animal husbandry', Bakewell introduced stockbreeding methods that transformed the quality of Britain's cattle, horses and sheep. To him a sheep was a 'machine for turning grass into mutton' and through his breeding experiments he doubled the meat production of his herds. Bakewell's lessons in breeding were widely copied by other agricultural improvers striving for greater productivity to match the rising demand of a growing and increasingly industrialised population.

List Thumbnail


Robert Bakewell

by John Boultbee
oil on canvas, circa 1788-1790
On display in Room 18 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5949