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Thomas Clarkson

1 of 11 portraits of Thomas Clarkson

Thomas Clarkson, by Carl Frederik von Breda, 1788 - NPG 235 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Thomas Clarkson

by Carl Frederik von Breda
oil on canvas, 1788
35 3/4 in. x 27 3/4 in. (908 mm x 705 mm)
Bequeathed by Henry Crabb Robinson, 1867
Primary Collection
NPG 235


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  • Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846), Slavery abolitionist. Sitter in 11 portraits.

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The philanthropist , Thomas Clarkson, was a member of the committee formed in 1787 for the suppression of the slave trade. In this portrait, Clarkson is depicted inscribing with a quill the title-page of his Essay on the Impolicy of the African Slave Trade which was published in May 1788. The portrait was painted during von Breda's visit to London; its silvery-grey tones are typical of his work and earned him the soubriquet 'the Swedish Van Dyck' .

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