John Vanderbank

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

John Vanderbank, by John Vanderbank, 1738 - NPG 3647 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

John Vanderbank

by John Vanderbank
pen and ink, 1738
12 3/4 in. x 7 1/2 in. (324 mm x 191 mm)
Purchased, 1948
Primary Collection
NPG 3647


Click on the links below to find out more:

Sitterback to top

  • John Vanderbank (1694-1739), Portrait painter. Sitter in 1 portrait, Artist associated with 96 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • John Vanderbank (1694-1739), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 96 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

His confident self-portrait is a virtuoso performance with a dip pen, cut from a reed or feather. The line swells and ebbs as the artist varied the pressure on the paper. Vanderbank's dynamic handling shows the on-going influence of renowned continental artists, such as the Dutch artist Rembrandt and the Flemish artist van Dyck who made similar pen and ink drawings. This portrait presents Vanderbank as a worthy successor to his famous predecessors. 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. 283
  • 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. 39
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 630

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Subjects & Themesback to top

Events of 1738back to top

Current affairs

Fetter Lane Society founded in London by the Moravians; a reformed group of Protestants led by exiled Saxon Count Nicolaus von Zinzendorf. He visits Britain to petition the king for protection for Moravian missionaries working in the British colonies. An act to this effect is finally passed in 1749. John Wesley is converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement.

Art and science

Artist Allan Ramsay returns to London from Rome and sets himself up as a portrait painter. Metallurgist William Champion patents a process to distil zinc from calamine using charcoal in a smelter.

International

Methodist preacher George Whitefield arrives in Savannah, Georgia to replace John Wesley; the first of seven visits across the Atlantic which make him one of the most widely recognised figures in the American colonies. Merchant sailor Robert Jenkins presents his pickled ear (cut off by Spanish coast-guards in Cuba in 1731) to Parliament stirring up war fever against Spain and leading to the War of Jenkins' Ear the following year.

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