The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Elijah Impey (1732-1809), Chief Justice of Bengal

c.1770
Miniature by Ozias Humphry, bust-length oval. Christie’s, 10 November 1993, lot 50. Impey’s name appears in Humphry’s fee book in 1768 and 1770; he later encouraged the artist to make his Indian visit in 1785-87.

c.1771-72
Painting by Johann Zoffany, see NPG 335.

In India 1774-83
1775
Painting by Tilly Kettle, whole-length standing in Judge’s robes. Destroyed, formerly High Court Dacca, Bangladesh (illus. M. Archer, India and British Portraiture 1770-1825, 1979, p 89). Kettle served on the jury for the Nand Kumar trial in 1775, one of Impey’s first and most complex cases.

c.1775
Painting by Tilly Kettle, three-quarter length seated in judge’s robes. Victoria Memorial Hall, Calcutta, since 1928 (illus. M. Archer, India and British Portraiture 1770-1825, 1979, p 89). Engraved Carlos 1846 (half length).

1783
Painting by Johann Zoffany, whole-length standing in judge’s robes. High Court, Calcutta (illus. M. Archer, India and British Portraiture 1770-1825, 1979, p 138). Zoffany arrived in Calcutta on 15 September 1783 and Impey left for England that December. A platinotype is in the India Office (illus. The Raj, NPG, 1990-91, no.128).

Painting by Johann Zoffany, half-length painted oval in private dress. Private collection (illus. M. Archer, India and British Portraiture 1770-1825, 1979, p 135).

c.1783-84
Painting by Johann Zoffany, The Impey Family listening to strolling musicians, in which Impey stands whole length in private dress with his wife and three children. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (445). The picture must have been completed after the Impeys left India (see under 1783 above).

In England 1784-
1786
Drawing by Thomas Lawrence, see NPG 821.

1798
Silhouette by Tiberius Cavallo, with his family (eleven figures and a dog; see S. McKechnie, British Silhouette Artists and their Work 1760-1860, 1978, p 382). Probably that sold Sotheby’s 12-21 October 1987, lot 2409.

1799
Miniature by John Smart (listed by D. Foskett , John Smart, 1964, p 69). Smart had been in India 1785-95.

1802
A bust by J. C. F. Rossi, exhibited RA 1802 (1075).

Doubtful Portraits
Paintings attributed to Gilbert Stuart (illus. Connoisseur, XLVIII, 1917, p 37), and by Philip Simpson, sold Christie’s, Glasgow, 23/29/30 November 1995, lot 834.



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.