John Bannister

1 portrait

John Bannister

by John Russell
pastel, 1799
24 in. x 18 in. (610 mm x 457 mm)
Bequeathed by the sitter's great-granddaughter, Grace Hilda Bannister, 1916
Primary Collection
NPG 1769

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Sitterback to top

  • John Bannister (1760-1836), Comedian and actor. Sitter in 9 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • John Russell (1745-1806), Portrait painter and pastellist. Artist associated with 102 portraits, Sitter associated with 6 portraits.

This portraitback to top

'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.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG 1770: Elizabeth Bannister (née Harpur) (companion portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

Subject/Themeback to top

Events of 1799back to top

Current affairs

The Prince of Wales is reconciled with his secret wife Maria Fitzherbert.
Corresponding Societies Act is passed prohibiting certain named political groups including the radical London Corresponding Society and the United Irishmen.

Art and science

The Swiss artist Henry Fuseli, resident in England since 1778, is appointed Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy.
The conservative educator Hannah More publishes her Strictures on Female Education which criticised demands for women's rights while proposing an active role for them within religious and moral movements.


Successful defence of Acre in the Levant is led by William Sidney Smith.
British expedition to Holland, led by General Ralph Abercromby, ends in evacuation after allies defeated at Battle of Bergen-op-Zoom.
Fall of the ruling Directory in France. Napoleon seizes power.
The Rosetta Stone is discovered in Egypt.

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