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David Garrick as Kitely in 'Every Man in his Humour'

26 of 1413 portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

David Garrick as Kitely in 'Every Man in his Humour'

after Sir Joshua Reynolds
1768
29 1/2 in. x 24 5/8 in. (750 mm x 624 mm)
NPG 4504


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Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed, upper left: David Garrick Esq.

This portraitback to top

A contemporary copy of some quality after the Reynolds in the Royal Collection dated 1768, which was given by the artist to Edmund Burke and acquired by the Prince Regent in 1812. [1] Garrick had revived Ben Jonson’s play in 1751, making some adjustments to the original text; Kitely became one of his best roles (he last performed it in April 1776). Finlayson’s engraving of the original picture identified the scene as Act II, scene I, which is set in a hall in Kitely’s house and contains four long speeches by Kitely, including the lines ‘Yea, every look, or glance, mine eye ejects, Shall check occasion’.
A studio version was sold Sotheby’s, 12 April 1995, lot 63; [2] copies were sold Christie’s, 18 December 1925, lot 81, attributed to James Northcote, and Sotheby's, 30 October 1957, lot 70; a miniature copy was exhibited Burlington Fine Arts Club 1889 (XIX 3) and Royal House of Guelph, New Gallery, London, 1891 (1050), lent J. Whitehead.

Footnotesback to top

1) Sir Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, I, 1969, no.1021; Gainsborough & Reynolds, Contrasts in Royal Patronage, exhibition catalogue, The Queen's Gallery, 1994, no.5; D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.703. Engraved J. Finlayson, 1769; J. Scott 1864.
2) D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.704 (said to have been commissioned by Bennet Langton).

Referenceback to top

Graves & Cronin 1899-1901
A. Graves & W. V. Cronin, A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 1899-1901, p 350

Mannings 2000
D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, 2 vols., 2000, no.704a.

Physical descriptionback to top

Brown eyes, brown hair, wearing grey-green Van Dyck costume with silver trim.

Provenanceback to top

1 Stephen, 2nd Baron Holland; 2nd Earl of Upper Ossory; his nephew, 3rd Baron Holland (d. 1840); his son, Gen. Charles Richard Fox;2 Christie’s, 27 June 1863, lot 62, bought in; Fox sale, 4 July 1874, lot 21, bought Graves for Louis Huth; his sale, Christie’s, 20 May 1905, lot 123; acquired by Norman Wolfe in the late 1920s; presented by Mrs Jenny Wolfe 1966.

1 Old label verso: This picture belonged to Stephen Lord Holland & then [to the Earl of Up]per Ossory who left it to Hen[ry Lord Holland] in 1818, and was afterwards left [ ] Fox 1840. Another: David Garrick by Sir Joshua Reynolds. From the collection of the late General C. R. Fox.
2 G. F. Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain, 1857, IV, 233, saw it in the the library of General Fox in Kensington, describing it as ‘spirited’.

Exhibitionsback to top

Art Treasures, Manchester 1857 (BPG 286); Reynolds, Grosvenor Gallery, 1883-84 (143); The Gothick, Brighton, 1975 (D2); Johnson and the Midlands, Lichfield, 1984 (48); Casanova, Venice, 1998 (275).


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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