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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Joseph Banks, Bt (1743-1820), Explorer and botanist

An inclusive survey, including a Portraiture-Bibliography, appears in H. B. Carter, Sir Joseph Banks, A guide to biographical and bibliographical sources, 1987, pp 297-316; see also R. Joppien, ‘Banks and the world of art in Great Britain’, in R. E. R. Banks et al. eds., Sir Joseph Banks: a global perspective, 1994, pp 87-103.

1771-72
Painting by Joshua Reynolds, see NPG 5868.

c.1771-73
Painting by Benjamin West, whole length, wearing a cloak of New Zealand flax (a drawing of flax by Parkinson at his feet) with a Tahitian head-dress. Usher Gallery, Lincoln (UG 89/9; H. von Erffa & A. Staley, The Paintings of Benjamin West, 1986, no.586). Exhibited RA 1773 (310, ‘a whole length of a Gentleman with a New Zealand mantle around him’. Engraved J. R. Smith 1773 and 1788.

1775
Wedgwood medallion, modelled by John Flaxman (illus. R. Reilly & G. Savage, Wedgwood the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 55).

c.1775
Drawing by Thomas Hearne, bust-length oval. British Museum (1867.04.13.536). Traditionally, but not securely, identified as Banks. Hearne was in the Leeward Islands 1771-75.

1776
Painting by William Parry, Banks standing between Omai and Dr Daniel Solander. Private collection. Banks’s head was etched in 1800 by J. Owen (Public Characters of 1800-01). Omai, brought in 1775 from Tahiti whither he returned in 1776; Solander (1756-82), botanist, Banks’s professional companion, ‘the mildest, gentlest, most obliging of men’. A sepia copy by Frederick Peake sold Christie’s, 2 April 1965, lot 35.

1777-78
Painting by Joshua Reynolds, The Society of Dilettanti.

1779
Wedgwood medallion, modelled by John Flaxman (illus. R. Reilly & G. Savage, Wedgwood the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 56). Apparently the medallion of Banks described by Josiah Wedgwood as ‘A good head, & a very strong likeness, but the original does not seem to have sat in an over pleasant mood’ (2 September 1779; R. Reilly & G. Savage, Wedgwood the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 56). A medallion by James Tassie listed by J. M. Gray, James and William Tassie, a biographical and critical sketch with a catalogue of their portrait medallions of modern personages, 1894, no.27; he had never seen an example and supposed it may have been the same as the Wedgwood example (see also c.1788 below).

1786
Drawing by Paul Sandby, profile head with hat, one of the series of heads drawn at print sales. Royal Collection (A. P. Oppé, The Drawings of Paul and Thomas Sandby in the Collection of His Majesty the King at Windsor Castle, 1947, no.417/22, fig.23). Engraved anon., Sketches taken at Print Sales.

1788
Pastel by John Russell, half length holding drawing inscribed Carte de la Lune par J. Russell. Lord Brabourne (illus. H. B. Carter, Sir Joseph Banks, 1988, p 178). Exhibited RA 1788 (420). Engraved J. Collyer 1789; W. Ridley 1802 (reduced, European Mag.); W. Wright. Russell also drew Lady Banks in 1788 (private coll.), engraved J. Collyer 1790.

c.1788
Wedgwood medallion, the model attributed to John Flaxman (illus. R. Reilly & G. Savage, Wedgwood the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 56).

c.1793
Drawing attributed to Nathaniel Dance. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (acquired 1926 from Mrs John Lane as by Henry Edridge). A copy at 2 Carlton House Terrace in 1905 was listed as ‘After H. Edridge, 1793’ (Lord Hawkesbury, 'Catalogue of Portraits, Miniatures, &c., at Kirkham Abbey and 2 Carlton House Terrace, in the Possession of Lord Hawkesbury', Transactions of the East Riding Antiquarian Society, XIII, I, 1906, no.211).

c.1795
Drawing by Thomas Lawrence, see NPG 853.

before 1796?
Pastel by James Sharples, and a miniature drawing from it by Ellen Sharples (illus. K. McC. Knox, The Sharples, 1930, p 105). Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery (Cat. of the Sharples Coll., Bristol, 1910, nos.19 and 68). The original probably dates from before 1796 when Sharples first went to America, but he was again in England 1802-09. Mrs Sharples was finishing miniature copies of Banks in November/December 1803, which she ‘improved’ in March/April 1805 (K. McC. Knox, The Sharples, 1930, pp 117-18); she exhibited a miniature of Banks RA 1807 (843).

1803
Drawing by George Dance, profile bust, dated 27 June 1803. National Library of Australia, Canberra (NK 2093). Engraved W. Daniell 1811; a tracing by Daniell in the Yale Center for British Art (B1975.4.1129); a pencil copy of the engraving, initialled R. W. P., in the Natural History Museum, London (illus. J. C. Thackray, A Catalogue of the Portraits, Paintings and Sculpture at the National History Museum, London, 1995, no.7).

1803
Painting by Rembrandt Peale, bust length in grey coat wearing the star of the Bath. Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (L. B. Miller, In Pusuit of fame: Rembrandt Peale, exhibition catalogue, NPG Washington, 1992, pl.5).

1804
Bust by George Garrard, wearing a fur cape over classical tunic with ribbon of the Bath. Burghley House. Exhibited RA 1804 (952).

1806
Painting by Thomas Lawrence, three-quarter length as President of the Royal Society, wearing the ribbon and star of the Bath. British Museum, bequeathed by the Rev Daniel Lysons 1834 (K. Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence: a complete catalogue of the oil paintings, 1989, no.59). Exhibited RA 1806 (72). Engraved A. Cardon 1811; T. Woolnoth 1823; H. Robinson 1831, and T. Phillibrown.

Bronze bust by Anne Seymour Damer, wearing the star of the Bath. British Museum (MLA 1814.3.12.1; A. Dawson, Portrait Sculpture, A catalogue of the British Museum collection, 2000, no.2), presented by the artist 1814; exhibited RA 1813 (912). Probably from the terracotta exhibited RA 1806 (838). Plaster casts in the Natural History Museum and the British Library.

1807
Painting by Solomon Williams, exhibited RA 1807 (544).

1808
Painting by Thomas Phillips, half length as President of the Royal Society, holding a copy of Sir Humphrey Davy’s Bakerian lecture of 1808 in his left hand. State Library, Sydney, New South Wales (Dixson Collection), commissioned by the Spanish astronomer Jose Mendoza y Rios. Exhibited RA 1809 (134), as ‘in the Chair as President of the Royal Society’). Engraved N. Schiavonetti 1812 and, reduced, W. Holl 1829 and C. E. Wagstaff 1833.

In 1808 Phillips asked Banks whether he would subscribe to a print; Banks replied that there were already three prints of him in the Print Shops, ‘one from a Picture of Sir Joshua, an admirable mezzotinto; another from the Pencil of the President, & a third, a most decided Likeness, from a Crayon picture of Russell’; he added 'much as I admire the Burin of Schiavanetti [sic], I should, was I to direct, Employ Sharp’ (Letters of Sir Joseph Banks, 2000, pp 287-88).

A version dated 1815, with a paper lying in the foreground inscribed: On an improved reflecting circle (a paper by Joseph de Mendoza read at the Royal Society in 1801), was commissioned by the Royal Society (illus. Letters of Sir Joseph Banks, 2000, p 289), cf. NPG 1075. A replica sold Sotheby’s, 6 April 1993, lot 51, is in the National Library of Australia, Canberra; a late copy, from the Brabourne collection, is in the County Hall, Maidstone; an enamel copy by Henry Bone dated 1815, exhibited RA 1816 (708), sold Christie’s, 3 March 1971, lot 16; his preparatory drawing NPG albums (R. Walker, 'Henry Bone's Pencil Drawings in the National Portrait Gallery', Wal. Soc., LXI, 1999, no.28).

1810
Painting by Thomas Phillips, see NPG 885.

1812
Impression from a gem by W. Brown, exhibited RA 1812 (620).

1814
Painting by Thomas Phillips three-quarter length, short hair, wearing Windsor uniform (dark blue coat with red facings and gold lace), with the star and ribbon of the Bath, holding a drainage map for the south Lincolnshire fens. Guildhall, Boston, Lincs., commissioned by the Corporation of Boston in 1813. Exhibited RA 1814 (52). Reduced version sold Sotheby’s, 24 November 1999, lot 69.

Marble bust by Peter Turnerelli, undraped. Royal College of Surgeons, London (illus. W. LeFanu, A Catalogue of the Portraits and other paintings drawings and sculpture in the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 1960, pl.4). Turnerelli carved two marble busts in 1814; as the Curators of the College of Surgeons were dissatisfied with that intended for them, Turnerelli agreed to work further on both and allow them to choose (W. LeFanu, A Catalogue of Portraits and other paintings drawings and sculpture in the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 1960, p 6); the second bust is presumably that now in the National Maritime Museum.

Medal by Thomas Wyon sr., exhibited RA 1814 (392).

1816
Drawing by Thomas Phillips, profile with tie-wig. From a sketch book in a private collection. Etched by Mrs Dawson Turner.

Impression from a medal die by William Wyon, exhibited RA 1816 (886). Medal by Thomas Wyon jr. and William Wyon 1816 (Brown 911).

Cameo by Benedetto Pistrucci (see H. B. Carter, Sir Joseph Banks, 1988, p 516). Presumably the bust to left with the date 1819 engraved after Pistrucci by Mrs Dawson Turner.

1818
Marble bust by Francis Chantrey, undraped. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (A. Yarrington, I. D. Lieberman, A. Potts, M. Baker, 'An Edition of the ledger of Sir Francis Chantrey RA, at the Royal Academy, 1809-1841', Wal. Soc., LVI, 1994, no.40b; illus. Apollo, CXVIII, 1983, p 475). Probably that commissioned by G. Watson Taylor in 1818 (and sold as by Thomas Banks, Watson Taylor sale, 15th day, 25 July 1832, lot 165). Marble exhibited RA 1818 (1105). Replicas with the Royal Society, with slight drapery (M. Whinney, Sculpture in Britain 1530-1830, 1964, pl.188), presented by the artist in 1819; the Linnean Society, presented by subscribers 1822, and at Petworth, completed 1839 (see also A. Yarrington, I. D. Lieberman, A. Potts, M. Baker, 'An Edition of the ledger of Sir Francis Chantrey RA, at the Royal Academy, 1809-1841', Wal. Soc., LVI, 1994, nos.40b, 131b, 137b, 284b). A plaster dated 1818 is in a private collection.

See also NPG 316a(172).

c.1819
Drawing by W. M. Craig, half-length seated. Engraved H. Robinson, a crude portrayal.

1820
Medal by W. Wyon, ‘the Banksian Medal’ for the Royal Horticultural Society (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, no.1041).

Posthumous
c.1820
Engraving by L. Rados after A. L. F. Sergent-Marceau (using the Thomas Phillips frontal head).

1821
Painting by Thomas Phillips, three-quarter length seated, with botanical drawings spread on a table. Royal Horticultural Society, by whom commissioned 1820. Engraved S. W. Reynolds and S. Cousins 1822. Phillips copied ‘with some variations in drapery etc from [his portrait] belonging to the Royal Society [see 1808 above], instead of that in the possession of Sir Everard Hume' [see NPG 885] (Royal Horticultural Society minutes, 16 August 1820, as quoted by C. Miller, Thomas Phillips, MA report, 1977, p XIV).

1822
Impression from a medal die by W. Wyon, from the bust by Chantrey, exhibited RA 1822 (921).

1821-27
Marble statue by Francis Chantrey, seated, a paper held in his lap. Natural History Museum (A. Yarrington, I. D. Lieberman, A. Potts, M. Baker, 'An Edition of the ledger of Sir Francis Chantrey RA, at the Royal Academy, 1809-1841', Wal. Soc., LVI, 1994, no.141a; figs.95-97; A. Dawson, Portrait Sculpture, A catalogue of the British Museum collection, 2000, no.1), commissioned by the Linnean Society 1821 and first placed in the British Museum. Exhibited RA 1827 (1123). Engraved S. Cousins before 1833. The pose of the upper torso resembles the drawing of c.1793 attributed to Dance. Plaster model, reduced to head and shoulders, in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (N. Penny, Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1992, III, no.623).

Doubtful Portraits
Drawing by Francis Chantrey, see Unknown Sitters NPG 316a(172). Paintings by Francis Cotes (E. M. Johnson, Francis Cotes, 1976, no.129); attributed to Reynolds (Christie’s, 3 May 1884, lot 202); by Gainsborough (E. K. Waterhouse, Gainsborough, 1958, no.39); by West (H. von Erffa & A. Staley, The Paintings of Benjamin West, 1986, no.647); unattributed paintings: whole-length youth (Parham Park, ex-Revesby Abbey; illus. Country Life, CIX, 1951, p 1887; J. Gascoigne, Banks and the Enlightenment, 1994, p 84); half-length youth (Sotheby’s, 21 March 2001, lot 44); half-length middle-aged man (Newby Hall); miniatures by Andrew Dunn (illus. D. Foskett, British Portrait Miniatures, 1963, p 149) and Nathaniel Hone 1768, exhibited British Portrait Miniatures 1965 (178) lent Lord Beauchamp.

Engravings wrongly called Banks include those by S. W. Reynolds 1834 after Reynolds (cf. D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, 2000, I, no.230), and by Mackenzie 1801, from a portrait belonging to Maxwell Garthshore.



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.