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.

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Charles Lamb (1775-1834), Essayist and poet

The portraits of Lamb are listed and described briefly by E. V. Lucas in Life of Lamb, 1905, II, pp 291-3. Nothing important has been located since.

1798
Drawing by Hancock (NPG 449).

1804
Oil by Hazlitt (NPG 507).

c.1815
Drawing by unknown artist in Huntington Library, head and shoulders profile to right perhaps for a miniature.

1819
Watercolour stipple by G. F. Joseph in British Museum taken from an extra-illustrated copy of Byron's English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, head and shoulders to left signed and dated 1819 (Laurence Binyon, Catalogue of Drawings by British Artists … in the British Museum) reproduced E. V. Lucas, Life of Lamb, II, p 10. A drawing by Joseph in the Huntington Library, doubtfully identified with Lamb, was described by E. V. Lucas in The Times, 7 November 1934, p 17. A fanciful watercolour drawing by Edward White-Harrison appears to be a cross between the Joseph and Hazlitt portraits (Bookman, April 1924, pp 18-19).

c.1824
Oil by Rippingille at Clevedon Court (National Trust), exhibited RA 1824 (251) as 'Stage Coach Travellers', shows Wordsworth, Coleridge and friends breakfasting at an inn; the young waiter handing Rippingille the bill is believed to represent Lamb.

1825
Etching caricature 'Scratched on copper from Life in 1825 by his friend Brook Pulham' (reproduced E. V. Lucas, Life of Lamb, 1905, II, p 144) - 'the likeness which accompanies this letter was stolen from my person at one of my unguarded moments by some too partial friend' (letter to Coleridge 1 June 1826); both De Quincey and William Ayrton thought this grossly exaggerated; Procter had a row with the printseller and asked him what he meant by selling such a libel (Leigh Hunt, Autobiography, 1903, II, pp 50-1).

c.1825
Drawing by Wageman engraved by Finden (1836) for Talfourd's Works of Lamb, 1850.

1826
Oil by Meyer in Foreign & Commonwealth Office (Old India Office), see NPG 1312.

1834
Oil by Cary, with his sister Mary (NPG 1019).

1835
Drawing by Maclise in V&A Museum (F87), reproduced E. V. Lucas, Life of Lamb, 1905, II, frontispiece and used for the etching in Fraser's Magazine, February 1835, whole-length at a table reading three books by candlelight and signed 'Yours ratherish unwell Chs Lamb' (E. V. Lucas, Life of Lamb, 1905, II, p 34).

c.1835
Bust by Weekes engraved in the Collas process for Chorley's Authors of England, 1837.

1935
Centenary bronze bust by Sir W. Reynolds-Stephens in Christ Church, Newgate Street.

Undated
Oil by J. Watson Gordon formerly in the Pulitzer collection and sold New York 10 January 1929 (33), half-length as a young man in an oval, in similar garment to NPG 507 by Hazlitt, inscribed top left: Charles Lamb/Aetat 30/1805, but identity doubtful.

Drawing from memory by Thornton Leigh Hunt, whole-length standing with Hazlitt and Leigh Hunt, reproduced E. V. Lucas, Life of Lamb, 1905, II, p 232.

Derby or Parian marble statuette perhaps by Samuel Keys in Brighton Art Gallery (see E. V. Lucas in The Times, 28 October 1909, and reproduced in The Sphere, 30 October 1909).

Probably posthumous pottery medallion at Button Snap, Cherry Green, Hertfordshire (Country Life, 17 April, 1975, p 1011).



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.