George Vertue

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

George Vertue, by George Vertue, 1741 - NPG 4876 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

George Vertue

by George Vertue
pencil and red chalk, 1741
9 1/4 in. x 5 1/2 in. (235 mm x 140 mm)
Purchased, 1972
Primary Collection
NPG 4876


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Sitterback to top

  • George Vertue (1683-1756), Engraver and antiquary. Sitter in 7 portraits, Artist associated with 845 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • George Vertue (1683-1756), Engraver and antiquary. Artist associated with 845 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The notebooks kept by the engraver George Vertue on the work of his artist contemporaries and predecessors are one of the most significant sources of information for the history of British art. In this self-portrait Vertue surrounds himself with symbols of patronage. The miniature which he holds in his left hand is of his friend and patron Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford. His right hand rests on his own engraving of Shakespeare and a bust of Charles I, a royal patron of a previous age, is visible to the right. In the bottom right corner a Latin motto, 'Honour nourishes the arts', is probably an appeal to Frederick, Prince of Wales, another connoisseur of the arts.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 286
  • 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. 41
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 633

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top