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Benjamin Wilson (1721-1788), Portrait painter and scientist

Sitter in 5 portraits
Artist associated with 43 portraits
Wilson was the son of a wealthy clothes manufacturer in York. After his father's business failed, Wilson moved to London, where he became a clerk and began to study painting. In the late 1740s, he lived in Dublin, where he had a successful career as a portrait painter. He returned to London and built up a lucrative portrait practice, which was probably patronised chiefly by Yorkshire men in London. In 1773, the Duke of York, appointed Wilson painter to the Board of Ordnance. A student of chemistry, Wilson developed a particular interest in exploring static electricity. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1751, and in 1760, he received the society's Copley medal for his electrical experiments.

List Thumbnail

6249

David Garrick

by Benjamin Wilson
oil on canvas, circa 1752-1755
NPG 6249

6211

William Whitehead

by Benjamin Wilson
oil on canvas, 1758-1759
NPG 6211

560

James Parsons

by Benjamin Wilson
oil on canvas, 1762
NPG 560

2942

Thomas Tyrwhitt

after Benjamin Wilson
oil on canvas, (1788)
NPG 2942

D4833

Benjamin Wilson

by Benjamin Wilson
etching, 1749
NPG D4833

D4834

Benjamin Wilson

by Benjamin Wilson
etching, 1749
NPG D4834

D4835

Benjamin Wilson

by Benjamin Wilson
mezzotint, circa 1749
NPG D4835

D35320

Simon Harcourt, 1st Earl Harcourt

by James Macardell, after Benjamin Wilson
mezzotint, circa 1750-1765
NPG D35320

D35321

Simon Harcourt, 1st Earl Harcourt

by James Macardell, after Benjamin Wilson
mezzotint, circa 1750-1765
NPG D35321

D3224

Simon Harcourt, 1st Earl Harcourt

by James Macardell, after Benjamin Wilson
mezzotint, circa 1750-1765
NPG D3224

D4037

Bryan Robinson

by Benjamin Wilson
etching, 1750
NPG D4037

D4093

Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham

by Richard Houston, printed for Robert Sayer, after Benjamin Wilson
mezzotint, circa 1750-1775
NPG D4093

D588

Robert Baldy

by Edward Fisher, after Benjamin Wilson
mezzotint, 1750s-1770s
NPG D588

D589

Robert Baldy

by Edward Fisher, after Benjamin Wilson
mezzotint, 1750s-1770s
NPG D589

D590

Robert Baldy

by Edward Fisher, after Benjamin Wilson
mezzotint, 1750s-1770s
NPG D590

D19319

Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham

by Richard Houston, after Benjamin Wilson
mezzotint, circa 1750-1775
NPG D19319

D42635

William Tempest

by Benjamin Wilson
etching, published 1752
NPG D42635

D6938

William Tempest

by Benjamin Wilson
etching, 1752 or after
NPG D6938

D8620

Benjamin Wilson

by Benjamin Wilson
etching, published 1752
NPG D8620