John Wesley

1 portrait on display in Room 11 at the National Portrait Gallery

John Wesley, by Nathaniel Hone, circa 1766 - NPG 135 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

John Wesley

by Nathaniel Hone
oil on canvas, circa 1766
49 1/2 in. x 39 1/4 in. (1257 mm x 997 mm)
Purchased, 1861
Primary Collection
NPG 135


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Sitterback to top

  • John Wesley (1703-1791), Methodist leader. Sitter in 30 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Nathaniel Hone (1718-1784), Portrait and miniature painter. Artist associated with 56 portraits, Sitter in 9 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Wesley was the founder of the Methodist movement which grew from the 'Holy Club' of his Oxford friends into a great religious revival. An indefatigable traveller, preacher and writer, Wesley averaged 8,000 miles a year on horseback and gave 15 sermons a week. The reluctance of the Anglican clergy to lend him their pulpits led him to give some of his sermons in the open air, a decision which enabled him to reach those among the poorer sections of society who were not accustomed to going to church. Here Wesley is depicted preaching in a rural setting. 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).

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