Laurence Sterne

1 portrait on display in Room 16 at the National Portrait Gallery

Laurence Sterne, by Louis Carrogis ('Louis de Carmontelle'), circa 1762 - NPG 2785 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Laurence Sterne

by Louis Carrogis ('Louis de Carmontelle')
watercolour, circa 1762
10 3/8 in. x 6 7/8 in. (263 mm x 175 mm)
Purchased, 1935
Primary Collection
NPG 2785


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  • Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), Writer and divine; author of 'Tristram Shandy'. Sitter in 16 portraits.

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Louis de Carmontelle made over six thousand watercolour portraits of celebrities and the friends of his patron, the Duc d'Orleans. He drew this portrait in 1762, when Laurence Sterne visited France after successfully publishing the first volumes of his novel Tristram Shandy (1759-67). Sterne liked the image and wrote to his friend David Garrick: 'The Duke of Orleans has suffered my portrait to be added to ... his collection; and a gentleman who lives with him has taken it most expressively'. Watercolours like this one were regarded as a form of drawing rather than painting because they were executed on paper. 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).

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