Search the Collection

James Tassie

(1735-1799)

Artist associated with 19 portraits
Tassie was a gem engraver and modeller known for reproductions of engraved gems and for portrait medallions, both made from a hard, fine-textured substance that he developed with a physician, Henry Quin. Having trained as a stonemason, in 1763 Tassie moved to Dublin, where he worked as laboratory assistant to Quin. Together they devised a white enamel composition especially suited for gemstone replicas. In 1766, Tassie moved to London, where he received commissions to duplicate many famous gems, both ancient and modern. Tassie's portrait medallions, his best-known original works, included many eminent contemporaries among their subjects. They were modelled from life in wax and cast in white paste.

List Thumbnail

John Harrison, by James Tassie - NPG 4599

John Harrison

by James Tassie
glass paste medallion, circa 1775
On display in Room 13 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4599

Lord George Gordon, by James Tassie - NPG 4603

Lord George Gordon

by James Tassie
glass intaglio, 1781
On display in Room 14 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4603

Adam Smith, after James Tassie - NPG 1242

Adam Smith

after James Tassie
plaster cast of medallion, (1787)
NPG 1242

Adam Smith, by James Tassie - NPG 3237

Adam Smith

by James Tassie
glass paste medallion, 1787
On display in Room 14 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3237

Joseph Black, by James Tassie - NPG 3238

Joseph Black

by James Tassie
glass paste medallion, 1788
On display in Room 13 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3238

John Adam, by James Tassie - NPG 4612

John Adam

by James Tassie
glass paste medallion, 1791
On display in Room 14 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4612

David Hume, by James Tassie - NPG 4897

David Hume

by James Tassie
glass paste medallion, circa 1791
On display in Room 14 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4897

William Robertson, by James Tassie - NPG 5800

William Robertson

by James Tassie
glass paste medallion, 1791
On display in Room 14 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5800

Possibly John Bowes, Baron Bowes, after James Tassie - NPG D7024

Possibly John Bowes, Baron Bowes

after James Tassie
plaster cast of cameo, late 18th century
NPG D7024

Augustus Keppel, Viscount Keppel, by James Caldwall, after  James Tassie - NPG D3413

Augustus Keppel, Viscount Keppel

by James Caldwall, after James Tassie
mezzotint, published 13 April 1782
NPG D3413

Andrew Lumisden, by William Dickinson, after  James Tassie - NPG D16592

Andrew Lumisden

by William Dickinson, after James Tassie
stipple engraving, 1784
NPG D16592

Adam Smith, by Mackenzie, after  James Tassie - NPG D6775

Adam Smith

by Mackenzie, after James Tassie
stipple engraving, published 1809
NPG D6775

Charles Townley, by James Godby, after  James Tassie - NPG D8264

Charles Townley

by James Godby, after James Tassie
stipple engraving, published 1812
NPG D8264

Charles Townley, by James Godby, after  James Tassie - NPG D8265

Charles Townley

by James Godby, after James Tassie
stipple engraving, published 1812
NPG D8265

Charles Townley, by James Godby, after  James Tassie - NPG D17009

Charles Townley

by James Godby, after James Tassie
engraved copper plate, 1812
NPG D17009

Web image not currently available

Augustus Keppel, Viscount Keppel

by and published by James Caldwall, after James Tassie
mezzotint, published 13 April 1782
NPG D20460

Web image not currently available

Andrew Lumisden

by William Dickinson, after James Tassie
stipple engraving, (1784)
NPG D14002

Web image not currently available

Paul Henry Maty

by Alfred Robert Freebairn, after James Tassie
anaglyptograph, 1838
NPG D14258

Place

Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your nameclose

If you tick permission to publish your name will appear above your contribution on our website.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.