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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

James Edward Oglethorpe (1696-1785), Founder of Georgia

A head-and-shoulders portrait in armour, at Oglethorpe University, Georgia, 1932, is the only version of its type recorded at the NPG. [1] A later and different three-quarter length is known only from T. Burford's mezzotint lettered General ... Commander in Chief ... in Carolina and Georgia (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 12); from his rank it must have been published 1743-45. The small reversed engraving by S. F. Ravenet for Smollett's History of England 1757 (F. O'Donoghue and Sir Henry M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits ... in the British Museum, 1908-25, 2) derives from it. A portrait by Reynolds, to whom Oglethorpe sat in March 1780, was burnt in the fire at Belvoir and never engraved. [2] Samuel Ireland's near-caricature ad vivum etching at Dr Johnson's book sale 18 February 1785 is the latest extant type. Manning and Bray reported a 'three-quarters portrait of the General [Oglethorpe], and another of his Lady, are in the family of the late Mrs. Dickinson of Totenham, who was executrix of the latter'. [3] Oglethorpe is probably the chairman in Hogarth's 'Committy of the house of Commons', 1729 (see NPG 926).

1) Known only from a photograph.
2) C. R. Leslie and T. Taylor, Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1865, pp 285, 312.
3) O. Manning and W. Bray, The History and Antiquities of the County of Surrey, 1804-14, I, p 613.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, 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.