6 of 15 portraits of John Keats
by Joseph Severn
oil on ivory, 1819
4 1/4 in. x 3 1/8 in. (108 mm x 79 mm)
Given by executors of Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, Bt, 1919
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- John Keats (1795-1821), Poet. Sitter in 15 portraits, Artist associated with 2 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Joseph Severn (1793-1879), Painter and Civil Servant. Artist associated with 14 portraits, Sitter associated with 3 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This haunting portrait of John Keats was painted by his friend Joseph Severn. It presents Keats as an isolated, poetic genius. The portrait was painted while Keats was writing his Odes and just before the onset of his fatal illness. The first version of this portrait was a watercolour miniature that Severn gave to the poet's fiancée, Fanny Brawne, even though Keats was against the gift.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Holmes, Richard, Insights: The Romantic Poets and Their Circle, 2005, p. 20
- Holmes, Richard, The Romantic Poets and Their Circle, 2013, p. 28
- Holmes, Richard; Crane, David; Woof, Robert; Hebron, Stephen, Romantics and Revolutionaries: Regency portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, 2002, p. 77
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 346
- Walker, Richard, Miniatures: 300 Years of the English Miniature, 1998, p. 97
- Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 288
Events of 1819back to top
Current affairsPeterloo Massacre leaves eleven dead and four hundred wounded as crowds, gathered to hear radical Henry Hunt call for reform of the House of Commons, are forcibly dispersed. Six Acts are passed, stiffening the 1795 Treason Act and introducing a tax on the periodical press which was viewed as seditious.
Art and sciencePercy Bysshe Shelley writes Ode to the West Wind during a year of extraordinary creativity in which he also finishes Prometheus Unbound.Lord Byron publishes his tour-de-force Don Juan; one man's mock-epic odyssey through a world without fixed principles. First ship with a steam engine crosses the Atlantic in twenty-eight days.
InternationalThomas Jefferson establishes the University of Virginia.Royal Navy anti-slave squadron is set up to patrol the West African coastline.French physician Rene Laennac invents the stethoscope.
See this portrait
On display in Room 18 at the National Portrait Gallery