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Charles Dibdin

(1745-1814), Songwriter and dramatist

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 4 portraits
A composer, author, actor, and theatrical manager whose sea songs and operas made him one of the most popular English composers of the late eighteenth century. He began his stage career as an actor, and his first operetta, The Shepherd's Artifice, was produced at Covent Garden in 1764. By 1778, when he became composer to Covent Garden, he had produced eight operas, including The Padlock (1768) and The Waterman (1774). In around 1789 he began his celebrated one-man 'table entertainments', in which he acted as author, singer, and accompanist. Most of his sea songs were written for these, including 'Tom Bowling', 'To Bachelors' Hall', 'Poor Jack' and 'Twas in the Good Ship Rover'.

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Charles Dibdin, by Benjamin Smith, after  Thomas Kearsley - NPG D11016

Charles Dibdin

by Benjamin Smith, after Thomas Kearsley
stipple engraving, published 1801
NPG D11016

Charles Dibdin, by and published by Benjamin Smith, published by  John Peter Thompson, after  Thomas Kearsley - NPG D14612

Charles Dibdin

by and published by Benjamin Smith, published by John Peter Thompson, after Thomas Kearsley
stipple engraving, published 2 November 1801
NPG D14612

Charles Dibdin, by Sir George Scharf, after  Unknown artist, and after  John Young, after  Thomas Phillips, and after  Benjamin Smith, after  Thomas Kearsley - NPG D21672

Charles Dibdin

by Sir George Scharf, after Unknown artist, and after John Young, after Thomas Phillips, and after Benjamin Smith, after Thomas Kearsley
pencil on tracing paper, 9 June 1860
NPG D21672

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