8 of 15 portraits of John Keats
by Joseph Severn
oil on canvas, 1821-1823
22 1/4 in. x 16 1/2 in. (565 mm x 419 mm)
Given by S. Smith Travers, 1859
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
Severn, who had nursed his friend in Rome, described the circumstances recreated in this posthumous portrait: 'This was the time he first fell ill & had written the Ode to the Nightingale on the morning of my visit to Hampstead. I found him sitting with the two chairs as I have painted him & was struck with the first real symptoms of sadness in Keats so finely expressed in that poem.'
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Holmes, Richard, Insights: The Romantic Poets and Their Circle, 2005, p. 94
- Holmes, Richard, The Romantic Poets and Their Circle, 2013, p. 112
- Holmes, Richard; Crane, David; Woof, Robert; Hebron, Stephen, Romantics and Revolutionaries: Regency portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, 2002, p. 24,59
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 162
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 113
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 113
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 346
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 128
- Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 290
- Woof, Robert; Hebron, Stephen, Romantic Icons, 1999, p. 91
Placesback to top
- Place portrayed: United Kingdom: England, London (sitter's home, Hampstead, London)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1821back to top
Current affairsGeorge IV is crowned at Westminster Abbey on 19 July and Queen Caroline is turned away from the ceremony. Two weeks later she dies reawakening popular sympathy for her cause. Riots break out at her funeral as the Government attempts to reroute the procession to avoid the popular reaction of the mob.
Art and scienceThomas De Quincey publishes Confessions of an English Opium Eater in the London Magazine. A creative commentary on his mental life, it gained instant notoriety.The Manchester Guardian (later The Guardian) established.Michael Faraday builds the first electric motor.
InternationalNapoleon dies. Revolts in Wallachia and Moldovia against the oppressive rule of the Ottoman Turks. The rebels appeal to Tsar Alexander I for help and the Greek War of Independence begins.
See this portrait
On display in Room 18 at the National Portrait Gallery