Joseph Severn(1793-1879), Painter and Civil Servant
Sitter associated with 3 portraits
Artist associated with 14 portraits
Ending his life as British Consul in Rome, the young painter Joseph Severn arrived in Italy's capital in November 1820 with the poet John Keats. To Severn's distress, Keats died at their villa near the Spanish Steps three months later. The aspiring history painter nevertheless stayed in Rome where, with his knowledge of Italian, sociable manner and personal charm, he was able to prosper in the art market and play a decisive role in co-founding the British academy in Rome. He exhibited portraits in the Italian genre of literary and biblical subjects.
More on Joseph Severn: The Romantic Poets and their Circle book in our Shops
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.