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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

David Hume (1711-1776), Philosopher and historian

Painting by Allan Ramsay, half length. Private collection (illus. A. Smart, ed. J. Ingamells, Allan Ramsay, a complete catalogue of his Paintings, 1999, no.278). In 1754 Ramsay, Hume and Adam Smith founded the Edinburgh Select Society. Copy by William Millar of 1758 in the University of Edinburgh, previously exhibited in the Phillimore Ives Memorial Gallery, Stellenbosch, 1951.

Paris October 1763- February 1766
Drawing by L-C. de Carmontelle, whole-length seated, the head seen in profile, reading. Scottish NPG (PG 2238; illus. Country Life, CLVII, 1975, p 823).

Drawing by C-N. Cochin, profile head. Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass. (illus. Art Quarterly, XXV, 1962, p 403). Engraved S. C. Miger 1764 (illus. Apollo, XCVII, 1973, p 5); J. Basire 1765 (without wig and wearing a beret); A. B. Duhamel; anon. c.1800 (extended to half length).

London 1766-68 and Edinburgh 1769
Painting attributed to David Martin, half length. Christie’s, New York, 11 January 1989, lot 28.

Painting by Allan Ramsay, half length, richly dressed in a scarlet coat. Scottish NPG (PG 1057 (A. Smart, ed. J. Ingamells, Allan Ramsay, a complete catalogue of his Paintings, 1999, no.279). Engraved D. Martin 1767; other dated plates include those by A. Smith 1806, W. Finden 1822 and T. Woolnoth 1825. George III considered the portrait ‘very like’, but ‘the dress rather too fine’; Charlemont commented that Hume looked ‘like a Grocer of the Trained Bands ... disguised in Scarlet, while his broad face was rendered still broader by a smart Wig a la militaire’. A version formerly at Oxenfoord Castle (cat., 1911, no.99), and a miniature copy sold Christie’s, 23 October 1989, lot 21.

Miniature by John Donaldson, bust-length oval, engraved S. Ravenet (within a stone frame, an open book below; later impression reversed without book); W. Walker c.1780; other dated plates include: P. Audinet (copied by J. Collyer 1788); A. Smith 1794 (‘From an original drawing’; Biographical Mag.); W. Ridley 1794 (from a drawing by R. Richards); W. Holl 1819.

Later derivative plates by H. R. Cook 1823, R. Page 1825 and W. H. Worthington alleged an original by Joshua Reynolds.

Anon. medal (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, no.206).

Medallion by James Tassie, see NPG 4897.

Anon. silhouette profile, dated January 1792. British Museum (1980.U.895).

Statue by Matthew Noble. Burlington House, London (rear facade).

Statue by J. P. Macgillivray. Scottish NPG (north-west tower). A bronze modello belongs to the Royal Society, Edinburgh (see C. Waterston, Portrait Prowl, Royal Soc., Edinburgh, 1997, p 12).

Bronze statue by Alexander Stoddart, the head ultimately derived from the Cochin profile. Royal Mile, Edinburgh.

Doubtful Portraits
Paintings: from the ‘circle of Ramsay’, Christie’s, Keir Mains, 22-24 May 1995, lot 466 (exhibited Art Treasures, Manchester, 1857, BPG 313); unattributed, Scottish NPG (PG 578); so-called Reynolds, Christie’s, 19 March 1859, lot 103 (Scharf sketch in sale cat.; illus. Connoisseur, LIX, 1921, p 227); signed and dated EE (monogram) 1774, with Farrer, May-June 1862, and offered to the NPG (Sir George Scharf's Trustees' Sketch Books, 7/22; and Sir George Scharf's Sketch Book, 62/99). Watercolour by Lady Abercromby, Edinburgh University (head only illus. Cullen and the 18th century Medical World, 1993, p 14; cf. D. Talbot Rice & P. McIntyre, Edinburgh University Portraits, 1957, no.70).

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.