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Regency Portraits Catalogue

John Philip Kemble (1757-1823), Actor

Lillian Hall, Catalogue of Dramatic Portraits in … Harvard College Library lists 145 portraits of Kemble, mainly prints in character. The Garrick Club has 15 portraits in oil and watercolour by Lawrence, De Wilde, Hone and Harlow.
The chief authentic portraits are:

Drawing and engraving by T. Cook published 1 November 1783 for the Universal Magazine and apparently used by Wedgwood for a green dip medallion 1784, exhibited NPG 1973-4 (57) as by Flaxman but attribution doubted by Bindman.

Oil by Stuart (NPG 49).

Oil or watercolour by Harding engraved by Gardiner and published 1 August 1787 by E. Harding, re-issued 1797 for The European Magazine.

Miniature by Bull exhibited RA 1794 (524).

Pencil drawing by Dance at Christie's Dance sale, 1 July 1898 (79) and at Phillips 2 May 1977 (93) bought Spink; soft-ground etching by Daniell in A Collection of Portraits Sketched from the Life since the year 1793 by George Dance, Esq. R.A. and engraved in imitation of The Original Drawings by William Daniell, A.R.A., 2 vols., 1814, 1139.

Oil by Lawrence exhibited RA 1797 (188) in private collection Philadelphia by descent from Fanny Kemble.

Oil by Beechey at Dulwich (111), half-length seated in dark velvet coat, shirt-frills, hands clasped on books; another version in the Garrick Club; squared-up pencil drawing by Bone for an enamel (RA 1799) in NPG library (Henry Bone’s annotated pencil drawings for miniatures and enamels, I, 91).

Miniature by Chinnery, head and shoulders facing in fur-lined cloak, engraved by Heath, 1 February 1799.

Oil by Shee exhibited RA 1801 (86), engraved and published by Sharp, 7 April 1803, half-length seated with vol. of Shakespeare on a table; used by Wageman with the addition of a hat for 'Mr Kemble as Penruddock' published 1820.

Oil by Lawrence exhibited RA 1804 (110), probably that now in Boston Museum of Fine Arts, mezzotint by W. Say 1814, whole-length seated facing, legs crossed.

Oil by Lawrence, formerly Rowland Stephenson collection, mezzotint by C. Turner 1825, half-length facing in velvet coat; repetition at Stratford-upon-Avon.

Drawing by Lawrence, head-and-shoulders profile to left, engraved by Cheesman published 5 August 1817 and later by Holl 'from a drawing in possession of CHARLES MATHEWS Esq.' (MacDonnell, Dictionary of National Biography, XXX, p 377).

Enamel miniature by Hone (W. G. Strickland, Dictionary of Irish Artists, I, p 512) was exhibited Exhibition of the Royal House of Guelph, New Gallery, 1981 (1076).

In character
Cato: oil by Lawrence in a private collection at Tean, commissioned by Lord Mountjoy
(Blessington), exhibited RA 1812 (57), mezzotints by C. Turner and Ward; replica painted for Charles Mathews in the Garrick Club and a repetition in America (see Kenneth Garlick, ‘Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence’ in Walpole Society Journal, XXXIX, p 117). Drawing by Boaden lithographed by Lane 1826 (R. J. Lane’s accounts and letters, p 4).

Coriolanus: oil by Bourgeois exhibited RA 1793 (98), recorded Diary of Joseph Farington, 13 September 1804 and lithographed by Lane 1826 (Lane Album, VII, 3). Oil by Mosnier exhibited RA 1793 (212). Miniature by Cosway 1795 in classical dress, V&A Museum (P13-1956). Oil by Lawrence in Guildhall, London exhibited RA 1798 (225), see Kenneth Garlick, ‘Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence’ in Walpole Society Journal, XXXIX, p 115 and Levy, no.12. 1806 watercolour attributed to Thomas Baxter sold Sotheby's Parke Bernet 15 January 1976 (38). Undated polychrome wax bust in National Gallery of Ireland, perhaps by Oliver Sheppard, c.1900.

Hamlet: line engraving by Cook after Ramberg 1785, 'the first non-contemporary dressing of the part' (Mander & Mitchenson, British Theatre, 1957, plate 158). Oil by Lawrence in Tate Gallery, exhibited RA 1801 (187) and 4 other versions listed by Kenneth Garlick, ‘Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence’ in Walpole Society Journal, XXXIX, p 116. Large mezzotint by William Barnard 'From an Original Picture by George Hounsom', perhaps that at RA 1803 (465), example in NPG but not in British Museum or John Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotint Portraits. Miniature by Cosway exhibited Exhibition of Royal House of Guelph, 1891 (1088).

King John: drawing by Boaden lithographed by Lane 1826 (Lane Album, VII, 2).

Penruddock (in Cumberland's Wheel of Fortune): oil by De Wilde in Garrick Club (248); watercolour by De Wilde in Garrick Club (58E); drawing by Wageman based on Shee and engraved by Wright 1820; drawing by Boaden lithographed by Lane 1826 (Lane Album, VII, 8).

Richard III: oil by Hamilton in National Theatre Collection (see NACF Annual Report 1978) exhibited RA 1788 (22), engraved Bartolozzi 1794. Oil by Stuart formerly in Cottesloe collection exhibited Midland Houses Birmingham 1938 (100), engraved Meyer 1808, and another sold Sotheby's 3 October 1973 (83).

Rolla (in Sheridan's Pizarro): oil by Lawrence in Kansas City, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery, exhibited RA 1800 (193), 4 repetitions listed by Garlick (Kenneth Garlick, ‘Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence’ in Walpole Society Journal, XXXIX, p 116) and others at Mottisfont Abbey and Christie's 3 August 1979 49). Coloured etching by Dighton published June 1799, exhibited Romantic Movement 1959 (411a). A watercolour copy, half-length only signed: JMP is in NPG Reference Collection.

Stranger (Kotzebue's The Stranger): oil by A. Chalmers exhibited RA 1798 (612). Miniature by Hounsom exhibited RA 1799 (885) and engraved Collyer. Oil by Owen in Mappin Art Gallery Sheffield.

Wolsey: oil by Harlow c.1817 in Shakespeare Memorial Theatre - the trial scene in Henry VIII with Mrs Siddons as 'Queen Katherine', JPK as 'Wolsey', Stephen Kemble as the King and Charles Kemble as 'Cromwell', exhibited RA 1817 (17) and 'First Hundred Years of the Royal Academy', RA, 1951-2 (146); engraved G. Clint 1819; a copy is in the Garrick Club (180) and another at Mottisfont Abbey.

Wedgwood medallion from Cook's 1783 engraving.

The King by Flaxman for a set of Wedgwood chessmen.

Medal by Hancock (example in Fitzwilliam Museum, see Report 1978, p 20).

Unfinished model by Papworth exhibited RA 1802 (1085).

Intaglio engraving by W. Brown exhibited RA 1811 (699).

Bronze by Gibson (NPG 149).

Undated plaster bust by Baily in Russell-Cotes Museum Bournemouth.

Memorial statue as 'Cato' designed by Flaxman and completed by Hinchliffe & Denman, placed in Westminster Abbey 1827 and removed in 1865 (The Times, 31 October 1865, 7d and Illustrated London News, November 1865, pp 460-2); plaster bust by Flaxman in Soane Museum.

Staffordshire pottery figure as 'Hamlet', based on Lawrence, reproduced P. D. Gordon Pugh, Staffordshire Portrait Figures, 1970, pp 421-4 and 426-7.

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.