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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Matthew Boulton (1728-1809), Industrialist and entrepreneur

1767
Wax by Isaac Gosset (see J. G. Pollard, 'Matthew Boulton and Conrad Heinrich Küchler', Numismatic Chronicle, 7, X, 1970, p 298n3).

1770
Painting by J. S. C. Schaak, half length, wearing a dark suit with gold frogging. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (Tew Park sale, 3rd day, Christie’s, 28 May 1987, lot 403).

c.1770
Painting by an unknown artist, see NPG 1532.

1786
Bust by I. J. Waeyenberghe, drawn by John Philipp (Collectanea delineatorum varium, 1792-1811, pl.21).

1792
Painting by C. F. von Breda, three-quarter length seated, a magnifying glass in his right hand, a cameo in his left; on the table mineral specimens including bluejohn fluorspar; a distant view of the Soho factory. Institution of Civil Engineers, painted for John Rennie (illus. H. W. Dickinson, Matthew Boulton, 1937, f.p.132). Engraved S. W. Reynolds 1796; reduced plates by R. Page 1823 and Mackenzie. A signed and dated replica in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery was purchased in 1987.

1797-1801
Painting by L. F. Abbott, half length, hands crossed over a book inscribed MINT. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (20’08). Exhibited Second special exhibition of National Portraits (William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington, 1867 (799) lent by Rev W. K. R. Bedford. ‘Mint’ doubtless refers to Boulton’s Soho Mint set up in 1788 and to his production of the new copper coinage for Great Britain in 1797.

1799
Painting by William Beechey, three-quarter length seated, closely comparable with the portrait by Breda of 1793. Private collection (by descent from the sitter). Exhibited RA 1799 (209). Engraved W. Sharp 1801, A. Cardon 1822, W. Ridley 1809, W. Holl 1865. See NPG 1075. A replica at Doldowlod made for James Watt was paid for in January 1810 (J. Steegman, Portraits in Welsh Houses, II, 1962, p 209, no.9), see NPG 1075. See also NPG 1595.

1799
Miniature by Anne Beechey of Boulton with his wife and daughter, exhibited RA 1799 (783).

1800
Enamel by William Grimaldi, exhibited RA 1800 (808). A duplicate and a pencil drawing by him listed in Rev. A. Grimaldi, A Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings & Engravings by and after William Grimaldi, 1873, pp 19, 49.

1803
Wax by Peter Rouw. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (CM.146-1985). Exhibited RA 1803 (816). An example dated 1806 in the Birmingham Assay Office.

Rouw exhibited another wax(?) RA 1812 (683). A large wax by him, dated 1814, differing from the 1803 wax in the cut of the coat collar and the wig tie, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (1058.1871; illus. D. R. Reilly, Portrait Waxes, 1953, fig.37).

c.1803
Medal by C. H. Küchler with Boulton’s Medallic Scale (French text) on the obverse (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, no.462; J. G. Pollard, 'Matthew Boulton and Conrad Heinrich Küchler', Numismatic Chronicle, 7, X, 1970, p 295).

1807
Medallion by Sarah Brown, see NPG 1451.

c.1807?
Plaster cast after an unidentified artist, profile bust. Sotheby’s, 30 November 1964, lot 83 (Bruce Ingram collection). Possibly by Nathaniel Marchant who promised to supply his portrait of Boulton in August 1807 (J. G. Pollard, 'Matthew Boulton and Conrad Heinrich Küchler', Numismatic Chronicle, 7, X, 1970, p 298n3), although no portrait by him of Boulton is listed by Siedmann (G. Siedmann, 'Nathaniel Marchant, Gem-Engraver 1739-1816', Wal. Soc., LIII, 1987).

Posthumous
1809-18
Marble bust by John Flaxman for Boulton’s monument. St Mary’s, Handsworth, Birmingham (illus. M. Whinney, Sculpture in Britain 1530-1830, 1964, pl.154A). Replica dated 1818, descended through the family, formerly at Tew Park. Plaster in the Science Museum (1929-1044) exhibited Watt Bicentenary, Science Museum, 1936, no.18, as Chantrey.

1809
Memorial medals: by C. H. Küchler, and two derived from the 1803 wax medallion by Peter Rouw, one unattributed, another by Peter Wyon (R. J. Eidlitz, Medallic Portraits of Matthew Boulton and James Watt, 1928, nos.3, 5-7; L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, nos. 659-61).

1814
Medal by G. F. Pidgeon, based on the Rouw wax of 1803. Exhibited RA 1814 (387). Medal struck at Soho 1819 ‘from the Medal by Pidgeon’, engraved J. Bate (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, no.976; J. G. Pollard, 'Matthew Boulton and Conrad Heinrich Küchler', Numismatic Chronicle, 7, X, 1970, pp 316-18).

1819
Medallion by P. Taylor, exhibited RA 1819 (1116).

1839
Medal by André Gallé (R. J. Eidlitz, Medallic Portraits of Matthew Boulton and James Watt, 1928, no.12; J. G. Pollard, 'Matthew Boulton and Conrad Heinrich Küchler', Numismatic Chronicle, 7, X, 1970, p 317n1).

1871
Medal by Joseph Moore, with James Watt (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Reign of Queen Victoria, 1987, no.2922).

1956
Bronze group of Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch by William Bloye. Birmingham, Broad Street (illus. J. Bennett, Discovering Statues, Central and Northern England, 1968, p 29).

Undated
Medallion in white enamel by Catherine Andras (J. M. Gray, James and William Tassie, a biographical and critical sketch with a catalogue of their portrait medallions of modern personages, 1894, p 71; R. J. Eidlitz, Medallic Portraits of Matthew Boulton and James Watt, 1928, no.9) and another by B. Pistrucci (R. Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors, 1968 ed., p. 306).

Doubtful Portraits
Marble bust by Benjamin Cheverton, ‘reduction after Chantrey’. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (illus. E. Silber, Birmingham Sculpture, 1990, p 18); miniature attributed to the circle of P. Paillou c.1790, sold Sotheby’s, 6 March 1997, lot 10.

A portrait of ‘Mr Bolton’ by the Birmingham artist James Millar was exhibited RA 1784 (160).



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.