by John Russell
24 in. x 18 in. (610 mm x 457 mm)
Bequeathed by the sitter's great-granddaughter, Grace Hilda Bannister, 1916
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- John Russell (1745-1806), Portrait painter and pastellist. Artist associated with 102 portraits, Sitter associated with 6 portraits.
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'Of a good height, elegantly proportioned with an eye equally endowed with fire and softness', the comic actor 'Jack' Bannister appeared in many leading parts at Drury Lane Theatre between 1778 and 1815. He was especially well known for his roles as Bob Acres and Tony Lumpkin from the plays by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Russell's pastel drawing of 1799 represents Bannister as 'Colonel Feignwell' in Mrs Centlivre's A Bold Stroke for a Wife. The play, which had been originally produced in 1718, appeared every season between 1780 and 1800 at either Drury Lane or the Haymarket theatre.