4 of 16 portraits of Laurence Sterne
by Joseph Nollekens
marble bust, circa 1766
15 1/2 in. (394 mm) high
Given by Lt. Col. G.B. Croft-Lyons through the Art Fund, 1920
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), Writer and divine; author of 'Tristram Shandy'. Sitter in 16 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Joseph Nollekens (1737-1823), Sculptor. Artist associated with 19 portraits, Sitter in 14 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Laurence Sterne, author of Tristram Shandy, visited Italy in 1765, travelling from Florence south to Rome and Naples in early 1766. His travels resulted in his book A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, published in 1768. While in Rome, Sterne sat to the young sculptor Joseph Nollekens, who produced a portrait bust of exceptional quality - austere, dignified and Roman. 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).
Linked publicationsback to top
- Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 265
- King, Reyahn; Sandhu, Sukhdev; Walvin, James; Girdham, Jane, Ignatius Sancho: An African Man of Letters, 1997, p. 77
- Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 152
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 100
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 100
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 588
Events of 1766back to top
Current affairsCharles Edward Stuart ('Bonnie Prince Charlie') becomes the new Stuart claimant to the throne of Great Britain and figurehead for Jacobitism on the death of his father James Stuart, Pretender since 1701.Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham is dismissed as Prime Minister and succeeded by William Pitt the Elder.Stamp Act, passed the previous year, is repealed.
Art and scienceSwiss painter Angelica Kauffmann settles in London.Oliver Goldsmith publishes his novel The Vicar of Wakefield. Chemist Henry Cavendish publishes his paper 'On Factitious Airs' which is generally credited with showing the discovery of hydrogen.First golf club in England opens at Blackheath in Kent.Christie's auction house is founded in London.
InternationalNavigator and Royal Navy officer John Byron returns to England after his circumnavigation of the globe; the first to be completed in under two years. He takes possession of the Falkland Islands on behalf of Britain during his voyage. German writer Gotthold Leopold Lessing publishes his important work of literary criticism Laokoon; An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry.
See this portrait
On display in Room 12 at the National Portrait Gallery