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Regency Portraits Catalogue

George Canning (1770-1827), Prime Minister

Canning's portraiture is listed by F. R. Gale in Notes and Queries, 31 December 1927, pp 470-1. The list below does not include the political satires by Doyle, Gillray, Cruikshank and others published in the British Museum Catalogues.

c.1774
Pastel by an unknown artist of a child aged about 4, identity doubtful; this formerly belonged to Canning's mother, then to his step-sister Mrs Thompson, her daughter Mme Bourdesol, and finally to F. R. Gale.

c.1787
Oil by Gainsborough at Harewood House together with a copy by Gainsborough Dupont; the identity is doubtful when compared with Hoppner's portraits below but there is a distinct resemblance to Hickel's House of Commons portrait; the provenance is convincing being through his son Earl Canning then by family descent through Lady Clanricarde to Lord Harewood; oval canvas, half-length in Van Dyck dress with long hair.

1793-4
Oil by K. A. Hickel ‘The House of Commons 1793-4' (NPG 745). Hickel's oil sketch, signed and dated 1794 bust to left in a black coat, was exhibited Second Exhibition of National Portraits 1867 (764) lent by Lord Houghton. Canning describes the half-hour sitting in his diary for 31 May 1794: 'The painting of course is a daub - but the likeness is most formidable and astonishing' (Harewood MS).

1794
Drawing by Edridge done for Lady Malmesbury and another for his cousin Fan, mentioned in Canning's diary for 14 May and several times in June and July 1794 (Harewood MSS).

1797
Oil by Hoppner in the Provost's Lodge, Eton College, exhibited RA 1798 (105) and reproduced in Wendy Hinde, George Canning, 1973, p 24; mezzotint by J. Young 1808; a smaller version dated 1797, possibly the original sketch, is at Dalmeny (Earl of Rosebery).

1809
Oil by Lawrence at Christ Church, Oxford; three-quarter-length standing holding a paper, head to left; sitting recorded 1809 (Farington, Diary, 17 July); mezzotint by W. Say 1813.

1810
Oil by Lawrence at Tyningham (Earl of Haddington); seated facing, hand raised to cheek; exhibited RA 1810 (76); mezzotint by C. Turner 1827; a drawing is at Harewood and several oil versions exist.

Marble bust by J. Bacon exhibited RA 1810 (728).

Marble bust by Nollekens at Apsley House, exhibited RA 1811 (951); copy at Ickworth and copy by E. H. Baily (1829) at 10 Downing Street; stipple engraving by T. Blood for The European Magazine, 1 July 1812.

c.1813
Oil by Stewardson formerly George Drinkwater collection, Isle of Man; three-quarter-length standing with right hand in coat; exhibited RA 1813 (40) and judging from the number of engravings made from it, one of the most popular portraits of Canning - mezzotint by W. Ward 1813 and by W. Brett 1827, and stipples by W. Holl, Robinson and others (examples in NPG).

1818
Drawing by Chantrey (NPG 316a(10)) and subsequent busts and statues (see NPG 282).

1820
Pencil and wash drawing by Wivell at Balcarres (Earl of Crawford and Balcarres), no.17 of a series drawn at the trial of Queen Caroline, engraved F. C. Lewis 1824 and used again when Canning was Prime Minister in 1827 by Knight, B. Holl and others (examples in NPG).

Pottery bust in Herculaneum stoneware by William Spence, published in 1820 (Country Life, 21 July 1944, pp 110-11); Spence also exhibited busts of Canning at RA 1821 and 1824 and Liverpool Academy 1827 and 1828; a marble bust incised 1824 is in Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, and a marble medallion portrait in high relief is in the Liverpool Athenaeum; Canning was MP for Liverpool 1812-22.

c.1822
Drawing by M. Gauci published as a lithograph by N. Chater 28 October 1822 (example in NPG).

c.1825
Oil by Lawrence at Harewood House (see NPG 1338).

1826-7
Wax medallion by Edward Law (Rupert Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, 1953, p 235).

c.1826
Oil by Lawrence (NPG 1832).

1827
Bronze bust by David d'Angers in Angers Museum.

Small statue by John Greenshields (Rupert Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, 1953, p 180).

Wax impression from an intaglio gem at Welbeck Abbey, exhibited RA 1828 (1099); replica in the Duke of Sutherland collection.

Polychrome wax profile by David Morison at Christie's 10 November 1980 (14) incised: London Published by T. Flint September 1827.

Undated
Enamel by Henry Bone exhibited Exhibition of the Royal House of Guelph, New Gallery, 1891 (1888).

Marble cabinet bust by John Francis (Rupert Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, 1953, p 157).

Oil by Baron Gerard exhibited Third Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1868 (234) lent by Earl Granville.

Pencil drawing attributed to G. Richmond at Sotheby's 21 May 1958 (2).

Miniature by Andrew Robertson in J. B. Robertson collection, half-length wearing a large gold medal, possibly the Friends of Rational Freedom medal of which a small brass copy is in the NPG Reference Collection.

Engraved gem by John Wilson exhibited RA 1829 (1109).

Miscellaneous sculpture
Statues by Chantrey are in Westminster Abbey, Liverpool and Athens, and by Westmacott in Parliament Square, Westminster.



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.