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Regency Portraits Catalogue

John Opie (1761-1807), Portrait and history painter

Ada Earland, John Opie and his Circle, 1911, pp 299-303 lists 54 self-portraits of which the most readily accessible now are:

c.1777
Truro 1951 (1) lent by Lionel Rogers and reproduced Connoisseur, XCIV, 1934, p 245.

c.1778
Plymouth 1962-3 (1) lent by Trustees of the Prideaux-Brune Estate, head and shoulders to right aged 17.

c.1780-90
Christie's 6 April 1973 (4) bought Lambert, head and shoulders to left in slouch hat.

1785
NPG 47.

1790-1800
Tate Gallery (1826), head to left looking down and scowling, dated by both Rogers and Earland to c.1791 but appears older, see Martin Davies, British School (National Gallery Catalogue, 1946, p 106), reproduced British School Illustrations, 1936, p 72.

'Treasures of the Royal Academy' 1963 (43) lent by the RA, dated c.1801-2 by Earland, but appears younger, half-length to left in blue coat; mezzotint by Henry Dawe. There are several variants of this type painted during the course of the next few years, the best being Plymouth 1962-3 (73, reproduced on cover of catalogue) lent by Lady Mander, half-length to left holding palette and brushes and dated by Mary Peter to c.1805; versions are Sotheby's 17 December 1969 (269) and 9 June 1971 (84), and without palette Plymouth 1962-3 (74) lent by J. Bridger; version on panel Sotheby's 6 June 1973 (293). An ink and chalk drawing in NPG Reference Collection is related to this type.

c.1790-3
Private collection Hertfordshire, half-length to left holding palette, deep collar, thick hair, in a painted oval; stipple engraving in reverse by Ridley published Evans, February 1793 and mezzotint by S. W. Reynolds, 1 June 1802.

c.1790
Plymouth 1962-3 (4) lent by Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro, head and shoulders to right in slouch hat.

1793
Pencil drawing by George Dance in RA library, head and shoulders profile to left, signed and dated: 9 March 1793.

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

c.1798
Truro 1951 (33) lent by Mrs Enys, head and shoulders to right, hair becoming thinner, similar to that engraved by Hopwood 1807.

1800-7
Burlington Fine Arts Club, Winter Exhibition, 1933-4 (68) lent by T. W. Bacon, half-length to left in deep collar and shaggy hair or wig.

Undated
Self-portraits in Dulwich Picture Gallery (94), Scottish NPG (L89) and Glasgow Art Gallery (701).

Spurious
Doubtful or spurious self-portraits are in the Paul Mellon Collection, Uffizi Gallery Florence, and Victoria Art Gallery Bath.



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.