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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Robert Dodsley (1703-1764), Poet, dramatist and bookseller

Reynolds' portrait of Dodsley was completed in 1760. Dodsley gave it to Shenstone in exchange for his by Edward Alcock and it is mentioned several times in Shenstone's Letters; [1] it is now at Dulwich. Shenstone also refers, somewhat ambiguously, to a drawing apparently by Richardson: 'I procured a copy of the Fables [Dodsley's Select Fables, 1761] from Mr Baskerville, before the Cuts were inserted, & have by help of Mr Alcock (a Painter) supplied the places of the emblematick prints with some devices of my own. I send you some account of them; yt you may be induced to favour me with Hints for two or three more - which will be wanting to compleat my scheme, & which you can very readily supply - but which I can not. A Drawing of Mr Dodsley from Richardson'. [2]

1) The Letters of William Shenstone, ed. M. Williams, 1939, pp 531, note 5, 556, 559.
2) Ibid, p 568.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, 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.