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Thomas Kerrich

1 of 2 portraits of Thomas Kerrich

Thomas Kerrich, by Thomas Kerrich, 1774 - NPG 6531 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Thomas Kerrich

by Thomas Kerrich
chalk, 1774
17 in. x 11 3/4 in. (433 mm x 300 mm) uneven
Purchased with help from The Art Fund, 2000
Primary Collection
NPG 6531


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  • Thomas Kerrich (1748-1828), Cambridge University Librarian, antiquary and draughtsman. Sitter in 2 portraits, Artist associated with 9 portraits.

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  • Thomas Kerrich (1748-1828), Cambridge University Librarian, antiquary and draughtsman. Artist associated with 9 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.

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Drawing was popular among amateur artists. Sons of the gentry drew to improve their artistic judgement while for impoverished sons of clergymen, like the antiquarian Thomas Kerrich, it offered a possible career. Kerrich's childhood drawings were praised by William Hogarth but he was discouraged from taking up painting professionally and instead became Librarian at Cambridge University Library. His talent is clear from this strikingly unorthodox self-portrait. It was drawn in Italy when Kerrich was visiting Europe on a travel scholarship from the university between 1771 and 1774.

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