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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

John Bacon the Elder (1740-1799), Sculptor

1785
Painting by Mason Chamberlin, three-quarter length seated, holding a design for the Chatham monument in Westminster Abbey [1779-83]. Private collection. Exhibited RA 1785 (50). Engraved anon. 1790 (half-length oval; European Mag.). See NPG 6289.

1792
Pastel by John Russell (signed and dated 1792/1800), half length, carving a royal bust. Private collection (illus. G. C. Williamson, John Russell, 1894, f.p.54). Russell exhibited portraits of Bacon at the RA in 1792 (133) and 1801 (153). A version, bearing monogram and date 1792, was with A. J. Fink, Baltimore, in 1951 (illus. Exhibition of the Pennsylvania Soc. of Miniature Painters, Philadelphia, 1951, no.225).

Pastel by John Russell, similarly posed to the preceding, but without wig and with an open shirt. Victoria and Albert Museum (P.5.1957). Engraved J. Collyer 1801; W. C. Edwards 1830 (head only, as J. Russell R.A. 1792); A. Roffe 1830. Version sold Sotheby’s, 15 July 1999, lot 116. Copied by John Jackson, drawing in the British Museum (1852.02.14.382).

Two pastels of Bacon were lent by his descendants to the Russell exhibition, Graves, 1909 (8, 21).

1793
Drawing by George Dance, profile bust, dated 13 April 1793. Royal Academy. Engraved W. Daniell 1809 (A Collection of Portraits sketched from the Life since the Year 1793 by George Dance Esqr. R.A. and engraved in imitation of the Original Drawings by William Daniell, A.R.A., 1814). A second drawing exhibited Sublime and the Beautiful, Sabin, 1973 (1), illus. cat.pl.1.

1795
Painting by Henry Singleton, President and Members of the Royal Academy.

1798
Bust by John Bacon jr., exhibited RA 1798 (1053). Drawn by W. Brockedon (British Museum, 1867.11.19.1/4008).

Posthumous
1864
Art Union medal by J. S. Wyon, the verso reproducing Bacon’s monument to Samuel Johnson in St Paul’s (L. Brown, A Catalogue or British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, no.2797). Exhibited RA 1864 (970). Example in NPG reference collection D2907.

Doubtful Portrait
The figure of Joseph Wilton in the group by J. F. Rigaud, NPG 987, was once thought to be Bacon.



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.