William Cheselden

1 portrait on display in Room 16 at the National Portrait Gallery

William Cheselden, by Jonathan Richardson, 1720s or 1730s - NPG 4995 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

William Cheselden

by Jonathan Richardson
pencil, 1720s or 1730s
5 1/2 in. x 4 5/8 in. (140 mm x 118 mm)
Purchased, 1974
Primary Collection
NPG 4995


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  • Jonathan Richardson (1665-1745), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 120 portraits, Sitter in 8 portraits.

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This portrait is of the anatomist and eminent surgeon William Cheselden, who was one of the closest friends of the artist, Jonathan Richardson. It is one of a series of small chalk and graphite drawings of friends and acquaintances that Richardson made in his retirement. Some of these images were drawn from memory and together, they represent a sustained project in recording friendships across Richardson's whole life. Drawing was the perfect medium for this project as it allowed Richardson to produce a large number of images quickly and was closely associated with friendship and intimacy.

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