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 847 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • George Vertue (1683-1756), Engraver and antiquary. Artist associated with 847 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This self-portrait was probably intended for an engraving to attract a royal patron. Vertue highlights his skill as an artist by pointing to his own engraving of the 'Chandos' portrait of Shakespeare . He holds a miniature of his patron Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford. The bust of Charles I, a famous royal patron of the arts, and motto which translates as 'Honour nourishes the arts' topped with the Prince of Wales's feathers suggests that this image was intended to appeal to Frederick, Prince of Wales. A space has been left for lettering to promote Vertue's project but the design was never completed. 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. 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