Giuseppe Baretti

1 portrait

Giuseppe Baretti, after Sir Joshua Reynolds, (1773) - NPG 6248 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Giuseppe Baretti

after Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, (1773)
29 1/2 in. x 24 3/4 in. (750 mm x 630 mm)
Bequeathed by Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, 5th Baron Kenyon, 1994
Primary Collection
NPG 6248


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Sitterback to top

  • Giuseppe Baretti (1719-1789), Writer and friend of Dr Johnson. Sitter associated with 5 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), Painter and first President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 1413 portraits, Sitter associated with 38 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Originally from Turin, Baretti came to London in 1751 and became a member of the circle of Joshua Reynolds and Dr Johnson. In 1760 his highly successful Dictionary of the English and Italian Language was published and he returned to Italy. Returning to Britain six years later, in 1769 Baretti stabbed a pimp to death in a street brawl and his acquittal of the charge of murder was largely due to the testimonials given to the court by Burke, Garrick, Johnson and Reynolds. It was Johnson who introduced Baretti to the wealthy Thrale family with whom he resided between 1773-6 as tutor in Italian and Spanish. Henry Thrale commissioned this portrait for the series in his library at Streatham Park. Baretti, whose eyesight was poor, is shown reading a book close to his face, a device which intensifies the suggestion of concentration.

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