by Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, 1766-1768
49 3/4 in. x 39 3/4 in. (1264 mm x 1010 mm)
Accepted in lieu of tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Gallery, 1965
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Warren Hastings (1732-1818), Governor-General of India. Sitter associated with 46 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), Painter and first President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 1413 portraits, Sitter associated with 38 portraits.
This portraitback to top
As Governor of India, Warren Hastings completed the transformation of the East India Company into a great military and naval power. An admirer of Indian culture, he co-operated where possible with native rulers but sometimes used methods more easily defended locally than in Whitehall. His impeachment for corruption in 1788 resulted in acquittal in 1795. He is seen in this magnificent portrait by Reynolds with a pile of papers, a pot of ink with a quill and a seal with Persian script. There was a vogue at this time amongst Englishmen for seals giving their name in Persian; this particular seal however has proved difficult to decipher. Acquired by H.M. Governent and allocated to the Gallery, 1965.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Bayly, Christopher, The Raj: India and the British 1600-1947, 1990 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 19 October 1990 - 17 March 1991), p. 114
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 239
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 125
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 101
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 101
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 286
Exhibitions and displays
- Favourites: Art and Power, 1600-1800
Until 1 September
See this portrait
On display in Room 14 at the National Portrait Gallery