Charles Rousseau Burney

1 portrait

Charles Rousseau Burney, by Edward Francisco Burney, circa 1775-1780 - NPG 1860 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Charles Rousseau Burney

by Edward Francisco Burney
watercolour and pencil, circa 1775-1780
7 in. x 6 3/4 in. (178 mm x 171 mm)
Given by G. Bellingham-Smith, 1920
Primary Collection
NPG 1860


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  • Edward Francisco Burney (1760-1848), Artist and cousin of Frances d'Arblay ('Fanny Burney'). Artist associated with 18 portraits, Sitter associated with 1 portrait.

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The family of Dr Charles Burney, organist, composer and musicologist, formed a distinguished and tightly knit clan. Charles Rousseau Burney, the subject of this drawing, was the son of Robert Burney, Dr Burney's elder brother and a dancing-master at Worcester. In 1770 Charles married his cousin Esther and became Dr Burney's son-in-law as well as his nephew. A child-prodigy on harpsichord and violin, Charles is first recorded as a performer in December 1766 when he played a harpsichord concerto as part of a benefit performance of his uncle's adaptation of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Le Devin du Village. It is probable that he was given his distinctive middle name in homage to the French philosopher. This portrait of Charles playing the violin was made by the artist and book illustrator Edward Francis Burney, Charles's younger brother.

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