John Simpson

1 portrait

John Simpson, by Angelica Kauffmann, circa 1777 - NPG 1485 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

John Simpson

by Angelica Kauffmann
oil on canvas, circa 1777
29 in. x 24 in. (737 mm x 610 mm)
Given by Charles Davis, 1908
Primary Collection
NPG 1485


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Sitterback to top

  • John Simpson (circa 1738-before 1789). Sitter in 1 portrait.

Artistback to top

  • Angelica Kauffmann (1741-1807), Painter. Artist associated with 21 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Portraits are sometimes about disguise or play-acting. This example shows an eighteenth-century sitter - John Simpson - in theatrical 'van Dyck' style costume with slashed doublet, lace collar and extravagant plumed hat. Such seventeenth-century costume had been popular at fancy-dress parties as well as in portraiture since the 1730s. Here the historic style is contrasted with a sculptured pedestal, with a relief of a grieving woman which reflects the rise of sentimental, neo-classical taste in the 1770s.

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