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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Patrick Miller (1731-1815), Pioneer of steam navigation

Painting attributed to George Chalmers, see NPG 2009.

Medallion by James Tassie. Plaster replica in the Scottish NPG (PG385; J. M. Gray, James and William Tassie, a biographical and critical sketch with a catalogue of their portrait medallions of modern personages, 1894, no.270). Perhaps the medallion presented by the Misses Nasmyth to the Patent Office (Cat. 1858, no.54) was by Tassie, but see Henning 1809 below.

Painting attributed to Alexander Nasmyth, profile, half-length seated. Maj. G. G. Macfarlane in 1930 (illus. C. Carswell, Burns, 1930, f.p.342). A copy presented to Bennet Woodcroft in 1861 by Mrs Beatrice Bairnsfather, the sitter’s great-granddaughter, formed part of his gallery of inventors’ portraits at the Patent Office which was transferred to the Science Museum in 1883; see NPG 1075.
Alexander Nasmyth was Miller’s intimate friend; he also made the plates for Miller’s 1787 pamphlet concerning the Triple Vessel driven by a waterwheel. The artist’s son, James Nasmyth remembered that ‘my father painted Mr Miller’s portrait as well as those of several members of his family’ (Autobiography, 1883, p 27).

Medallion by John Henning. Paisley Art Gallery (illus. J. Malden, John Henning, exhibition catalogue, Paisley, 1977, n.p.).

Doubtful Portraits
Painting by Alexander Nasmyth of 1782, said to show Patrick Miller with his family in a park, apparently shows Miller’s children (Sotheby’s, 20 March 1963, lot 95; illus. J. C. B. Cooksey, Alexander Nasmyth, 1991, p 59, N7).

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.