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Regency Portraits Catalogue

John Wilson (1785-1854), Essayist and journalist; used the pseudonym 'Christopher North'

1805
Oil by Raeburn in Scottish NPG (708), whole-length as a young man standing by his horse, rapturously described by his daughter (Mary Gordon, Christopher North: a Memoir, I, p 26) and reproduced in Elsie Swann, Christopher North, 1934 as frontispiece.

1817
Drawing by William Nicholson at Abbotsford, head and shoulders profile signed and dated: W N delt/1817, and also etched by Nicholson.

1829
Oils by Watson Gordon in Scottish NPG (646) and NPG 187.

1839-40
Watercolour drawing by unknown artist in British Museum, whole-length equestrian (Laurence Binyon, Catalogue of Drawings by British Artists … in the British Museum, IV, p 380).

1839
Watercolour drawing by B. W. Crombie in Scottish NPG (2306), whole-length walking in top-hat and tail-coat, etched as no.12 of Crombie's Modern Athenians, Edinburgh, 1839.

c.1840
Oil by Thomas Duncan in Scottish NPG (1369), whole-length standing in a mountain landscape with 'the lang gun', 'sporting jacket', flimsy slippers and Newgate frill, exhibited RSA 1863 but painted c.1840; engraved by J. C. Armytage for Christopher North's Recreations, 1845 and later edns., frontispiece, and by Sartain (half-length only for The Eclectic Magazine; a large undated mezzotint by C. E. Wagstaff is in the NPG. The sitting with Duncan and the Professor's absent-minded volubility is vividly described by his daughter (Mary Gordon, Christopher North: a Memoir, II, pp 311-12).

1843
Oil by R. S. Lauder in Edinburgh University, exhibited RA 1843 (523), whole-length seated with flowing hair and Newgate frill - 'a somewhat overwhelming portrait' (D. Talbot Rice, The University Portraits, 1957, p 221).

1844
Chalk drawing by James Swinton in private Scottish collection, head and shoulders signed and dated 1844; coloured lithograph in imitation of the drawing by Thomas Fairland in NPG.

1845
Marble bust by J. Fillans commissioned 'for his native town Paisley', exhibited RA 1845 (1374) and with plaster casts in Scottish NPG (604) and Crystal Palace (destroyed 1936).

Calotypes by D. O. Hill and R. Adamson, see NPG P6(4).

1851
Oil by Watson Gordon with Messrs Blackwood & Sons Edinburgh, see NPG 187.

1865
Bronze statue by Sir John Steell in Prince's Street Edinburgh, commissioned in 1857 and set up 1865 (Mary Gordon, Christopher North: a Memoir, II, pp 367-9 and Illustrated London News, 1 April 1865, p 304).

Undated
Statue by Lawrence Macdonald known from Maclise's satirical etching in Fraser's Magazine, III, April 1831, p 364.

Worcester porcelain bust in Scottish NPG (1475).



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.