George Berkeley

1 portrait

George Berkeley, by John Smibert, 1730 - NPG 653 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

George Berkeley

by John Smibert
oil on canvas, 1730
40 in. x 29 1/2 in. (1016 mm x 749 mm)
Given by Rev. William Josiah Irons, 1882
Primary Collection
NPG 653

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Sitterback to top

  • George Berkeley (1685-1753), Philosopher; Bishop of Cloyne. Sitter in 5 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • John Smibert (1688-1751). Artist associated with 3 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The Irish philosopher George Berkeley was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and taught there from 1707. He was appointed Dean of Derry in 1724 and made Bishop of Cloyne in 1734. Berkeley took a missionary party to America in 1728 but failed to secure promised government funds to found a missionary college in the Bermudas and so returned home four years later. John Smibert, who made this portrait, accompanied Berkeley to America and settled there. The background is thought to show the Hanging Rock, Rhode Island, where Berkeley wrote his Alciphron (1732). More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).

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