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William Cowper

1 of 7 portraits of William Cowper

William Cowper, by Lemuel Francis Abbott, 1792 - NPG 2783 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

William Cowper

by Lemuel Francis Abbott
oil on canvas, 1792
50 in. x 40 in. (1270 mm x 1016 mm)
Purchased, 1935
Primary Collection
NPG 2783


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  • Lemuel Francis Abbott (circa 1760-1802), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 77 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

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Cowper lived for many years at Olney, where he wrote the Olney hymns and poems of country life including The Task (1783). This portrait of him seated before a writing slope with an open volume before him and a pen in his hand was painted by Abbott for Cowper's cousin, Anne Bodham. 'Well! this picture is at last finished,' wrote Cowper to his friend William Hayley, 'and well finished, I can assure you. Every creature that has seen it has been astonished at the resemblance'.

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