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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Thomas Patch (1725-1782), Painter and engraver

Drawing attributed to Thomas Patch, see NPG 4081.

Painting by Joshua Reynolds, Parody of the School of Athens, caricature group in which Patch may appear on the extreme right. National Gallery of Ireland (734; D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.1962). Patch was listed by Reynolds amongst his subjects for this group, but this figure has also been recognised as Reynolds himself. Painted in Rome.

Engraving by Thomas Patch, whole-length seated, measuring a mask on a table (Twenty-five Caricatures, 1771).

Painting by Johann Zoffany, The Tribuna, with Patch in the right foreground holding Titian’s Venus of Urbino. Royal Collection (Sir Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, I, 1969, no.1211, pls.40, 41). George III took exception to the inclusion of Horace Mann and Patch ‘who were considered as men addicted to improper practises’ (Joseph Farington, Diary, 15 December 1804).

The iconography of Patch is otherwise confined to self portraits lurking within the caricature groups he painted in Florence, including the following:

before 1760
The Cognoscenti, with a half-length picture of Patch dressed as a cavalier in Spanish costume. Petworth.

The Punch Party, with a bust of Patch mounted on the wall. Dunham Massey (illus. F. J. B. Watson, 'Thomas Patch ... with a catalogue of his known works', Wal. Soc., XXVIII, 1940, no.1, pl.IXB).

The Punch Party, with a bust of Patch above the mantelpiece. Yale Center for British Art (B1976.7.187; illus. E. K. Waterhouse, Dictionary of British Eighteenth-century Painters, 1981, p 269).

Antiquaries at Pola, in which a fragmentary marble head lying on the ground caricatures the artist. Dunham Massey (illus. F. J. B. Watson, 'Thomas Patch ... with a catalogue of his known works', Wal. Soc., XXVIII, 1940, no.2, pl.IXA).

after 1760
A Gathering at Horace Mann’s, Florence, with a whole-length self portrait at his easel painting a satyr. Lewis Walpole Library, Farmington (illus. F. J. B. Watson, 'Thomas Patch ... with a catalogue of his known works', Wal. Soc., XXVIII, 1940, no.6, pl.XA; Wal. Corr., XXI, f.p.543).

A Gathering of Dilettanti in a Sculpture Hall, with Patch mounted on steps measuring the Medici Venus. Brinsley Ford collection (Wal. Soc., LX, I, 1998, pl.85).

The Punch Party or The Golden Asses, with Patch extreme right on a statue of a donkey, the plinth inscribed from Macchiavelli ‘... questo Asin ci cappi E sentirassi come il mondo e guasto ...’. Chatsworth. A version in the Lewis Walpole Library, Farmington (illus. Grand Tour, Tate Gallery, 1996, no.41).

A Caricature Group, with two painted caricatures of the artist, one with a lion’s body in a cage, the other with a bull’s body in a landscape; the bust on a wall bracket might also represent him. Royal Albert Museum, Exeter (illus. Apollo, XXVI, 1937, p 221). Patch engraved the ‘bull’ self portrait separately (Twenty-five Caricatures, 1771).

The Music Lesson, with a half-length self portrait at his easel. Tissington (F. J. B. Watson, 'Thomas Patch ... with a catalogue of his known works', Wal. Soc., XXVIII, 1940, no.9, pl.XB; Country Life, CLX, 1976, p 287).

Group in the Artist’s studio in Florence, with a self portrait at his easel painting commedia dell’arte figures. Lewis Walpole Library, Farmington (illus. Apollo, LXXXV, 1967, p 349; Grand Tour, Tate Gallery, 1996, no.42).

A Musical Party, with Patch standing on the extreme right holding a folio volume inscribed Le Regole del FISONOMIZARE FIRENZE 1774. Floors Castle. In the Regole Patch expounded the possibility of drawing a head without seeing the subject, from a knowledge of a person’s nationality, character and beliefs.

Doubtful Portraits
Drawing by Thomas Patch, Royal Albert Museum, Exeter (5.1943).

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.