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Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Sir James Thornhill (1675 or 1676-1734), Father-in-law of William Hogarth, decorative painter and politician; MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis

In 1723 Vertue (G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XXII, 1934, p 12) listed portraits of Thornhill:
‘A half length began ye head only by Sr G. Kneller
a head ¾ by Mr Dahl.
a half length by Mr Gibson.
by Richardson - a half length holding in his hands a long stick with chalk’

c.1711-12
Painting by James Thornhill, a conversation piece showing (from the left) Addison, Andrew Quick (who commissioned the portrait), the 1st Earl of Godolphin, Thornhill and Richard Steele. Private collection (illus. D. H. Solkin, Painting for Money, 1994, pp 41-47, 280n39).

c.1715-20
Painting by James Thornhill, see NPG 5339.

c.1724-26
Painting by Dietrich Andreae, whole-length standing, left hand on hip (rather uncomfortably), right pointing inwards. Painted Hall, Greenwich, west wall. See under NPG 4688.

c.1730?
Painting by William Hogarth, engraved S. Ireland as a small half-length wearing wig, lettered ‘Sr James Thornhill/Hogarth pinxt S.I. fecit/Etch’d by S. Ireland from a portrait in oil the same size in his possession’ (F. O’Donoghue & H. M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits in the … British Museum, 8 as 1786).

Unattributed painting, formerly attributed to Hogarth, half-length painted oval, Uffizi, Florence (A459), given in 1909. Exhibited Firenze e l’Inghilterra 1971, no.65.

Painting attributed to Gawen Hamilton, Thornhill showing his Poussin, Tancred and Erminia (purchased in France in 1717), to the Richardsons and two other gentlemen. Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick (illus. C. Gibson-Wood, Jonathan Richardson, 2000, p 76). Hamilton (b. 1697) is thought to have settled in London c.1730.

1732
Painting by Joseph Highmore, half-length oval, engraved J. Faber II 1732 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 345). A reduced pastel copy by the 1st Marquess of Townshend, signed and dated 1775, sold Christie’s, 7 June 2001, lot 91. Etched by C. Bretherton (Walpole, Anecdotes, 1771, IV).

1733
Pen drawing by Jonathan Richardson, bust-length, inscribed ‘at Thornhills 21 July 1733’, signed and dated (British Museum I.i.3-88; illus. Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, exhibition catalogue, Tulsa, Miami, Washington DC, Ottawa, NPG, Manchester, Carlisle, Canterbury, 1993-95, 32/3, p 207; C. Gibson-Wood, Jonathan Richardson, 2000, p 125).

c.1734
Painting by Jonathan Richardson, see under NPG 3962.

A painting by William Hogarth, ‘the original portrait of Sir James Thornhill’, appeared in Mrs Hogarth’s sale, 24 April 1790, lot 43, bought Boydell.

A ‘¾’ [i.e. a half-length] by Dahl was in the Oxford sale, 2nd day, 9 March 1742, lot 30 (W. Nisser, Michael Dahl, 1927, cat. p 75, no.153b), and lot 31 was another by Richardson. Both remain unidentified.

Doubtful Portraits
Painting by Marcellus Laroon (1679-1772), half-length with palette and brushes; National Maritime Museum (BHC3053). Although the head resembles the Thornhill portrait in, for example, the Painted Chapel at Greenwich (see under NPG 4688), this is probably a self-portrait by Marcellus Laroon c.1710-15.

Painting called a self portrait, half-length, painting at easel; Dean & Chapter of St Paul’s; exhibited Self Portraits, Arts Council, 1962, no.15; Creative Quarters, 2000, p 21 (see C. H. Collins Baker, Burlington Magazine, CXXXI, 1953, p 13).

Enamel by Boit sold Christie’s, 8 May 1878, lot 131 (W. Nisser, Michael Dahl, 1927, cat. p 127, no.37).


This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, 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.