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Sir Daniel Gooch, 1st Bt

8 of 22 portraits on display in Room 27 at the National Portrait Gallery

Sir Daniel Gooch, 1st Bt, by Sir Francis Grant, 1872 - NPG 5080 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Daniel Gooch, 1st Bt

by Sir Francis Grant
oil on canvas, 1872
56 in. x 44 in. (1422 mm x 1118 mm)
Purchased, 1976
Primary Collection
NPG 5080


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  • Sir Francis Grant (1803-1878), Portrait painter and President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 101 portraits, Sitter associated with 21 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Sir Daniel Gooch was appointed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel as locomotive superintendent of the Great Western Railway at the age of twenty-one. He designed the finest locomotives of the period and in 1865 became Chairman of the G.W.R. and rescued it from bankruptcy. In 1866 he supervised the laying of the transatlantic cable between Britain and North America. A country gentleman and an MP at the time this portrait was painted, Gooch nonetheless holds a pair of dividers as a symbol of his work as a railway engineer. The view in the distance is suggestive of his native Northumberland moors and the panting dog is a black retriever. Retrievers, a relatively new group, were originally developed in Britain specifically as gun dogs from crossings principally between Newfoundlands and labradors.

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