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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

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

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.

Painting by Johann Zoffany, see NPG 335.

In India 1774-83
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.

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).

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).

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-
Drawing by Thomas Lawrence, see NPG 821.

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.

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

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.