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Study for 'Patrons and Lovers of Art'

16 of 25 portraits on display in Room 19 at the National Portrait Gallery

Study for 'Patrons and Lovers of Art', by Pieter Christoffel Wonder, 1826-1830 - NPG 792 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Study for 'Patrons and Lovers of Art'

by Pieter Christoffel Wonder
oil on canvas, 1826-1830
24 1/2 in. x 18 1/2 in. (622 mm x 470 mm)
Given by Edward Joseph, 1888
Primary Collection
NPG 792


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This is a preliminary study for Wonder's painting of an imaginary gallery hung with pictures from famous British collections. The portraits depict the main art collectors of the period. The composition celebrates the role of individual benefactors in the much celebrated foundation of the National Gallery (1824). On the left, kneeling in front of Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne, is George Watson Taylor (1771-1841), a collector of Italian Renaissance paintings. On the right, top hat in hand, is Sir John Murray (1768?-1827) who commissioned Wonder's painting. Next to him, leaning forward, is the Rev. William Holwell-Carr (1758-1830), a benefactor of the newly formed National Gallery. Behind them, holding his palette, is the artist himself.

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