6 of 24 portraits on display in Room 19 at the National Portrait Gallery
by Lemuel Francis Abbott
oil on canvas, circa 1797
30 3/8 in. x 25 in. (771 mm x 635 mm)
Given by Henry Labouchere, 1858
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Sitterback to top
- Joseph Nollekens (1737-1823), Sculptor. Sitter in 14 portraits, Artist associated with 19 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Lemuel Francis Abbott (circa 1760-1802), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 77 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
In the last decades of the eighteenth century menswear was becoming more understated in both colour and materials. For everyday coats and breeches, fine wool began to replace silk and muted colours became the norm. A patterned waistcoat was often the new focus of attention. Striped, double-breasted waistcoats like that worn by the sculptor Joseph Nollekens in this portrait were particularly popular in the 1780s and 1790s. Nollekens does not wear a wig, though he may have powdered his own hair for which he would have had to pay dearly following the imposition of a powder tax in 1795. Charles James Fox also wears his own hair in the bust Nollekens works on.