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John Downman

(1750-1824)

Artist associated with 34 portraits
Studied briefly in Liverpool, then, from 1769, under Benjamin West, president of the Royal Academy. He spent the years 1773-5 in Italy; on his return he set himself up as a portrait painter in Cambridge. By 1779, he had returned to London and was gaining a reputation as one of the most fashionable portraitists of the day. He was patronised by the royal family, as well as such figures as the Duchess of Devonshire and the Duchess of Richmond. His popularity was largely dependent on his ability to work quickly and in quantity. In order to do so he gave up portraits in oil and devised a technique of working in chalks that allowed him to reproduce up to ten or twelve versions of the same portrait.

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Benjamin West, by John Downman - NPG 6264

Benjamin West

by John Downman
oil on copper, 1777
NPG 6264

Thomas Cole, by John Downman - NPG 1719a

Thomas Cole

by John Downman
watercolour, 1780
NPG 1719a

Jeremiah Milles, by John Downman - NPG 4590

Jeremiah Milles

by John Downman
watercolour, 1785
NPG 4590

The Fourdrinier Family, attributed to John Downman - NPG 6091

The Fourdrinier Family

attributed to John Downman
oil on copper, circa 1786
On display in Room 19 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6091

Isaac D'Israeli, by John Downman - NPG 4079

Isaac D'Israeli

by John Downman
pencil, 1804
NPG 4079

Richmal Mangnall, by John Downman - NPG 4377

Richmal Mangnall

by John Downman
watercolour, 1814
NPG 4377

Robert Robinson, by Jonathan Spilsbury, after  John Downman - NPG D39805

Robert Robinson

by Jonathan Spilsbury, after John Downman
mezzotint, published 1779
NPG D39805

Robert Robinson, by Jonathan Spilsbury, after  John Downman - NPG D4039

Robert Robinson

by Jonathan Spilsbury, after John Downman
mezzotint, published 1779
NPG D4039

Maria Josepha Stanley (née Holroyd), Lady Stanley of Alderley; Louisa Dorothea Clinton (née Holroyd), by and published by John Baldrey, after  John Downman - NPG D15310

Maria Josepha Stanley (née Holroyd), Lady Stanley of Alderley; Louisa Dorothea Clinton (née Holroyd)

by and published by John Baldrey, after John Downman
hand-coloured stipple engraving, published 1 January 1783
NPG D15310

George Byng, by Joseph Grozer, after  John Downman - NPG D32512

George Byng

by Joseph Grozer, after John Downman
mezzotint, published 1786
NPG D32512

George Byng, by Joseph Grozer, after  John Downman - NPG D32513

George Byng

by Joseph Grozer, after John Downman
mezzotint, published 1786
NPG D32513

Georgiana Cavendish (née Spencer), Duchess of Devonshire, by Francesco Bartolozzi, published by  M. Lawson, after  John Downman - NPG D35166

Georgiana Cavendish (née Spencer), Duchess of Devonshire

by Francesco Bartolozzi, published by M. Lawson, after John Downman
stipple engraving, (1787)
NPG D35166

Elizabeth (née Farren), Countess of Derby, by Joseph Collyer the Younger, published by  M. Lawson, after  John Downman - NPG D35131

Elizabeth (née Farren), Countess of Derby

by Joseph Collyer the Younger, published by M. Lawson, after John Downman
stipple engraving printed in colours, published 1788
NPG D35131

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