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Regency Portraits Catalogue

James Northcote (1746-1831), Painter; pupil and biographer of Sir Joshua Reynolds

1778
Self-portrait in Uffizi Gallery, Florence (1890-1929) exhibited 'Firenze e l'Inghilterra' 1971 (61), half-length to left in broad white collar signed and dated: James/Northcote Pinxt 1778; a drawing from the Italian sketchbook 1778 is reproduced in Stephen Gwynn, Memorials of an Eighteenth Century Painter, 1898, p 120. (See also Harlow and Hoare.)

1779
Self-portrait in Uffizi, Florence (1890-2079) exhibited 'Firenze e l'Inghilterra' 1971 (62), half-length to right in lace Van Dyck collar, signed and dated: The/Portrait of/James Northcote/Painted by himself in Florence 1779.

1780-90
Pencil drawing by Paul Sandby in Royal Collection (Windsor Castle), thumbnail sketch from margin of a print catalogue, reproduced Oppé, Sandby Drawings at Windsor Castle, 1947, p 84.

1780
Self-portrait recorded in Northcote MS Register as 1780 and possibly that engraved by Condé for The European Magazine, 2 March 1795.

c.1780
Self-portrait at Christie's 11 March 1932 (123), called 1797 but surely much earlier.

1784
Self-portrait (NPG 3253).

1793
Pencil profile by Dance in RA library, signed and dated 2 March 1793, engraved as soft-ground etching by Daniell, 1 July 1809; stipple by Leney but artist's name as J. Northcote published Scatcherd & Whitaker, 1 March 1794.

1795
Royal Academy group by Singleton, 'The Royal Academicians in General Assembly', engraved by Bestland 1802.

Self-portrait formerly at Panshanger, lent by Lord Cowper to Second Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1867 (575), head and shoulders to right in dark crimson coat, signed and dated 1795, Christie's (Panshanger sale) 16 October 1953 (104); another copy in Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem (226) presented in 1870, signed and dated on back: Portrait of James Northcote/RA Painted by himself/1796 (facsimile in 1922 catalogue). Mezzotint by S. W. Reynolds published 2 January 1798 (Alfred Whitman, S. W. Reynolds, 1903, 216, I).

1796
Drawing by Prince Hoare known from mezzotints by S. W. Reynolds published 1 February 1796 (Alfred Whitman, S. W. Reynolds, 1903, 215) and by Kingsbury (NPG and V&A Museum impressions unfinished and touched with pencil and chalk); Hoare painted another in 1813.

1797-8
Oil by Opie in private collection Devon, engraved by Ridley for The Monthly Mirror, 30 October 1799, exhibited 'John Opie', Plymouth, 1962 (60). Farington saw it 2 January 1798: 'Opie I called on - Has painted a very good likeness of Northcote.'

1802-3
Self-portrait 'Head for Sir J. Leicester' listed in Northcote MS Register for 1802. Four more self-portraits are listed in Stephen Gwynn, Memorials of an Eighteenth Century Painter, 1898 for 1803 but not in Northcote MS Register: print by Reynolds (Alfred Whitman, S. W. Reynolds, 1903, 216, I) for Mr Hoare, for Elford, and for Mr Parker, the last a half-length painted for Thomas Lister Parker FSA, engraved in mezzotint by Dawe, 1 March 1803 and exhibited 'British Self-Portraits', Arts Council, 1962 (3), still in Parker family collection.

1807
Self-portrait given to Lady Northcote (Northcote MS Register 1807), perhaps the kit-cat sent to the RA 1808 (89), 'according to Northcote declared by West, Fuseli, Tresham &c to be the finest portrait that had ever been sent to the Royal Academy' (Diary of Joseph Farington, 10 April 1808), lent to Third Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1868 (143) by Sir Stafford Northcote and now in private collection Devon.

1812
Self-portrait for Liverpool (Northcote MS Register 1812 and Stephen Gwynn, Memorials of an Eighteenth Century Painter, 1898, 541), exhibited Liverpool Academy 1812 (181) and Walker Art Gallery 1960 (21).

Bust by Chantrey exhibited RA 1812 (932).

1813
Pencil and chalk drawing by P. Hoare in Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, inscribed on back: The portrait/of James Northcote, R.A./an exact likeness/drawn at Brighton in the Year 1813/by Prince Hoare Esq., etched by De Clausen published Wivell, 1 February 1814 and exhibited RA 1815 (684), reproduced Apollo, November 1973, p 379. A variant, also inscribed, is in the V&A Museum (F106).

c.1813
Drawing by Jackson exhibited RA 1813 (605) probably that engraved in stipple by Meyer published 24 June 1813 by Henry Colburn.

1814
Self-portraits for Mrs James Moore and Sir William Knighton (Northcote MS Register 1814 and Stephen Gwynn, Memorials of an Eighteenth Century Painter, 1898, 568-9); possibly one of these is that engraved by Meyer for Cadell's Contemporary Portraits, 1 November 1815 and now in New South Wales Art Gallery, Sydney; another was in a private collection Washington DC in 1979.

1816-17
Oils by Harlow (see NPG 969).

c.1820
Drawing by George Shepheard (NPG 4206).

1821
Oil by Jackson in Tate Gallery (1404), probably exhibited RA 1821 (4) reproduced Conversations of James Northcote RA with James Ward, ed. Fletcher 1901, p 1. Enamel copy by C. Muss exhibited RA 1821 (586).

Bust by Bonomi in private collection Devon, signed and dated 1821, exhibited RA 1821 (1109).

1823
Self-portraits, two with a hawk (one for Mr Glendal), one in Royal Albert Gallery, Exeter, signed and dated 1823, and two heads (one for Lady Exeter) (Northcote MS Register and Stephen Gwynn, Memorials of an Eighteenth Century Painter, 1898, 1823).

1824
Oil by J. Ramsay exhibited RA 1824 (172).

1825
Bust by Behnes exhibited RA 1825 (1039).

Pencil drawing by Brockedon (NPG 2515(5) and Richard Ormond, National Portrait Gallery: Early Victorian Portraits, 1973, p 554).

c.1825
Oil by James Ward formerly in collection of his nephew Rev Thomas Holme, reproduced Conversations of James Northcote RA with James Ward, ed. Fletcher 1901, frontispiece.

1826
Self-portrait three-quarter-length sitting in a chair (for Mr Hillman) (Northcote MS Register and Stephen Gwynn, Memorials of an Eighteenth Century Painter, 1898, 1826 and Christie's 11 November 1983 (177)).

c.1826
Portrait by S. W. Reynolds junior known from a stipple by Woolnoth published Fisher, 1 December 1826 and possibly related to Jackson's oil in Tate Gallery.

1827
Self-portrait in profile (NPG 147).

Drawing by Wivell engraved by T. Wright published Colburn & Bentley 1830, head and shoulders vignette in his 82nd year.

c.1827
Oil by R. M. Sully exhibited SBA 1827 (59).

Oil by John King at Sotheby's 30 April 1980 (346), head and shoulders to left in voluminous cap, dated 1827, exhibited RA 1828 (3).

1828
Self-portrait (head) for Lady Exeter (Northcote MS Register 1828). Oil self-portrait painting Sir Walter Scott, in Exeter Royal Albert Gallery, three versions are known (see Scott). Miniature by Julia Jaques exhibited SBA 1828 (652).

1829
Pencil self-portrait (NPG 3026).

1830
Chalk drawing by Lonsdale in British Museum, head in profile to left wearing cap, signed and dated: Drawn from Life by James Lonsdale, July 9 1830 (Laurence Binyon, Catalogue of Drawings by British Artists … in the British Museum, III, p 67); lithograph by Lonsdale 1830 and watercolour copy exhibited SBA 1832 (556), reproduced Conversations of James Northcote RA with James Ward, ed. Fletcher 1901, p 248.

Oil by J. S. Davis 'Interior of the British Institution Gallery', Northcote and West examining a Reynolds self-portrait, exhibited 'British Portraits', RA, 1956-7 (391) and sold Christie's (Heywood-Lonsdale) 24 October 1958 (62).

c.1830
Oil by S. A. Hart in private collection, whole-length seated in cap and dressing-gown, exhibited Exeter 1873 (8) as Admiral Woollcombe lent by Mrs Woollcombe.

1831
Watercolour by Maclise 'made in his bedchamber a short time before his death', exhibited SBA 1832 (596).

1854
Ink satirical drawing from memory by George Jones offered to NPG by the Leger Galleries 1975, whole-length standing in studio 2 November 1854; at Christie's 26 October 1982 (40).

Undated
Oil attributed to Wilkie NPG 2938, see Unknown Man.



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.