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Horace Walpole

8 of 35 portraits on display in Room 12 at the National Portrait Gallery

Horace Walpole, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, circa 1756-1757 - NPG 6520 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Horace Walpole

by Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, circa 1756-1757
50 1/8 in. x 40 1/8 in. (1272 mm x 1018 mm)
Purchased with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Art Fund and the Dame Helen Gardner Bequest, 1999
Primary Collection
NPG 6520


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

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This portrait by Reynolds was given by the sitter to Grosvenor Bedford, Walpole's deputy at the Exchequer. One contemporary observer described the portrait as 'very like' but 'a little too plump'; another noted how Walpole had a complexion of 'a most unhealthy paleness', though the portrait's pallor may be due in part to Reynolds's notorious use of fugitive pigments. Walpole is shown with a print of the ancient Roman marble eagle he had acquired in 1745.

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