William Stukeley

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

William Stukeley, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, 4 February 1721 - NPG 4266 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

William Stukeley

by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
pencil, ink and wash, 4 February 1721
11 3/8 in. x 7 3/4 in. (289 mm x 197 mm)
Given by Sir Alan Barlow, Bt, 1962
Primary Collection
NPG 4266

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Sitterback to top

  • William Stukeley (1687-1765), Antiquary and physician. Sitter in 8 portraits, Artist of 1 portrait.

Artistback to top

  • Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (1646-1723), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 1674 portraits, Sitter associated with 30 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This drawing is an unusual example by Sir Godfrey Kneller, who became the leading court painter after Sir Peter Lely's death in 1680. Few of Kneller's drawings survive and most are preparatory studies for paintings whereas this drawing was intended as a finished portrait. It is probable that the sitter, the anatomist and antiquarian William Stukeley, chose the composition as this image resembles other drawings of him. The profile pose is reminiscent of ancient coins and medals, evoking Stukeley's interest in antiquities. Stukeley wrote in his diary, 'Sr. Godf[rey] Kn[eller] sketched my profile 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).

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 270
  • Rogers, Malcolm, Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, 1993 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 August to 23 October 1994), p. 35
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 597

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top