The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Search the Collection

William Shenstone

(1714-1763), Poet and landscape gardener

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 9 portraits
'A large, heavy, fat man, shy and reserved with strangers', the poet William Shenstone, now seldom read, was from the Midlands and a bachelor. His first poems were published whilst he studied at Oxford, although he left without completing his degree. Of private means, he inherited the farming estate of Leasowes, near Birmingham, from his guardian in 1745. He retired there and continued to write poetry in a pastoral vein. Shenstone coined the term 'landscape gardener', and created one of the earliest and most influential landscape gardens, his ferme ornée. He diverted streams to create waterfalls, and stage-managed the landscape to create views that unfolded from carefully chosen vantage points.

Tell us More

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close

List Thumbnail

William Shenstone, after Unknown artist - NPG D5961

William Shenstone

after Unknown artist
line engraving, published 1764
NPG D5961

William Shenstone, by John Hall, published by  James Dodsley, after  Thomas Ross - NPG D5959

William Shenstone

by John Hall, published by James Dodsley, after Thomas Ross
line engraving, 1780 (1738)
NPG D5959

William Shenstone, by Francis Engleheart - NPG D40693

William Shenstone

by Francis Engleheart
stipple engraving, 1821
NPG D40693

Web image not currently available

William Shenstone

by Unknown artist
line engraving, published 1764
NPG D5960

Web image not currently available

William Shenstone

by John Hall, after Thomas Ross
line engraving, 1780 (1738)
NPG D5958

Web image not currently available

William Shenstone

by R. Clamp, published by E. & S. Harding
stipple engraving, published 11 April 1795
NPG D19347

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.

Do, draw and make!

Do, draw and make!

From building dens to food faces – enjoy our Playful Portraits activities and find out about some brilliant people!

Get Creative

Healthcare Heroes

Activities for children and families inspired by three healthcare heroes from our Collection.

Learn together

Learning resources

Downloadable and web based resources to support learning at home linked to art, history, citizenship and literacy.

Get learning