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Samuel Richardson

8 of 13 portraits on display on Floor 2: Getting the Picture at Beningbrough Hall

Samuel Richardson, by Joseph Highmore, 1750 - NPG 1036 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Samuel Richardson

by Joseph Highmore
oil on canvas, 1750
20 3/4 in. x 14 1/2 in. (527 mm x 368 mm)
Purchased, 1896
Primary Collection
NPG 1036


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Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Joseph Highmore (1692-1780), Painter. Artist associated with 54 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Joseph Highmore's portrait of the novelist and publisher Samuel Richardson is a well-documented example of personal symbolism in a portrait. It was painted for the author's admirer and correspondent, Lady Dorothy Bradshaigh, who proposed this composition: 'I would choose to have you drawn in your study, a table or desk by you, with pen, ink and paper; one letter just sealed, which I shall fancy is to me.' She left artist and sitter to decide the size, and Richardson added his own tribute to Lady Bradshaigh and her husband by adding a portrait of them in the grounds of their home, Haigh Hall, over the fireplace. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).

Related worksback to top

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 233
  • Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 95
  • Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 95
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 521
  • Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 158

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