Robert Wood

1 portrait

Robert Wood, by Allan Ramsay, 1755 - NPG 4868 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Robert Wood

by Allan Ramsay
oil on canvas, 1755
39 in. x 29 1/2 in. (991 mm x 749 mm)
Purchased, 1972
Primary Collection
NPG 4868


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Sitterback to top

  • Robert Wood (1716 or 1717-1771), Traveller and classical scholar. Sitter in 2 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Allan Ramsay (1713-1784), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 118 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Ramsay painted this portrait in Rome where Wood was working as tutor to the young Duke of Bridgewater. Wood had already won a reputation as a classical scholar, having led ground-breaking archaeological expeditions to Greece and the Middle East during the early 1750s. He also wrote two key works: the Ruins of Palmyra (1753) and the Ruins of Balbec (1757). These achievements underpin this formal, elegant portrait in which Wood's costume, pose and props, like the map of Greece, communicate the sitter's social and intellectual ambitions. 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. 320
  • Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 121
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 676
  • Smart, Alastair, Allan Ramsay, 1713-1784, 1992 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from Catalogue of exhibition held at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 1 Aug. - 27 Sept. 1992; and the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 16 Oct. 1992 - 17 Jan. 1993.), p. 71