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Regency Portraits Catalogue

John Braham (1777-1856), Singer

Braham's portraiture is treated in Highfill's Biographical Dictionary, II, pp 301-3 where about 40 pictures and popular prints are listed; the Harvard Theatre Collection Catalogue lists 42 and a collection of 26 prints is listed in Alfred Rubens, Anglo-Jewish Portraits, 1935, 33-59.

The main portraits, excluding theatrical prints are:
c.1800
Oil by an unknown artist in the Garrick Club, head and shoulders as a young man with brown curly hair.

1806
Drawing by J. G. Wood engraved in stipple by Cardon and published 30 November 1806; this was re-issued in reverse and reduced in size in 1818 by Thomson, the artist's name given as Foster.

1815-20
Watercolour by Dighton (NPG 1637).

1816
Miniature by Daniel Saint exhibited Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1889, p 115 (C. Butler collection).

1819
Watercolour by De Wilde (NPG Reference Collection).

1828
Watercolour drawing by Wageman exhibited RA 1828 encircled by musical instruments, engraved by Woolnoth April 1827 for W. H. Plumstead's The Beauties of Melody and for Cumberland's British Theatre.

c.1829
Marble bust by G. Clarke of Birmingham (Rupert Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, 1953, p 103).

1833
Drawing by Thackeray in The National Standard, no.19, whole-length as a sailor singing 'The Death of Nelson'; a sketch for the head of this is in V&A Museum (F102); three caricatures by Thackeray are in the British Museum.

c.1834
Miniature by unknown artist, formerly attributed to Ross (NPG 1870).

c.1836
Oil by G. P. A. Healy exhibited Third Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1868 (31) lent by Lady Waldegrave, his granddaughter, large whole-length as the 'Postilion'.

1839
Pen and ink drawing by Richard Doyle in British Museum (Dicky Doyle's Journal aged 15), singing 'Masaniella' at the St James's Theatre (Laurence Binyon, Catalogue of Drawings by British Artists … in the British Museum, II, p 105).

1852
Daguerreotype by Claudet in The Illustrated London News, 20 March 1852, p 245.

Undated
Miniature, artist unknown, was in the Worshipful Company of Musicians Exhibition at Fishmongers' Hall 1909, p 237 lent by T. W. Taphouse.

Doubtful
Doubtful portraits include:
An oil attributed to Opie at Sutton Court, reproduced J. M. Lieven, The Singing of John Braham, 1944, p 34, which in spite of its provenance - Earl Waldegrave sale Christie's 1 February 1900 (47) - is of a young man c.1820; an enamel copy attributed to Joseph Lee was in Christie's 17 April 1890 (19 with a pencil sketch by Scharf in NPG library).

Oil of an actor in costume aged about 35 was offered to the NPG in 1915 by H. M. Peebles and in 1925 was in T. Harries collection, the identity suspect because of dark blue eyes.

Oil by Henry Sass, called Braham, was at Sotheby's 9 November 1960 (215) and again 16 January 1980 (99), see Percy Fitzgerald, The Garrick Club, 1904.



This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, 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.