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Regency Portraits Catalogue

William Wordsworth (1770-1850), Poet Laureate

The list below is condensed, with a few updatings, from Mrs Blanshard's comprehensive iconography, Portraits of Wordsworth, published in 1959. Useful information is contained in the Arts Council catalogue of the Wordsworth Bicentenary Exhibition held in 1970 at the Abbot Hall Gallery, Kendal, and at Southampton Art Gallery. A collection of portraits, engravings, manuscripts and other relics, is in the Wordsworth complex at Grasmere: Rydal Mount, Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum.

c.1794
Miniature by D. B. Murphy in Irish NPG, identity doubtful (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, LXXII).

Watercolour drawing by John Hazlitt in Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere, identity doubtful (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, LXXIII).

1798
Oil by W. Shuter in Cornell University, New York, half-length in characteristic attitude with left arm bent (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, I). The head in reverse was used on a copper tray shown to the NPG by Miss George of George's Bookshop, Bristol, in 1970, inscribed on the back: Wordsworth 1798/His first portrait - Shuter's at Alfoxton.

Drawing by Hancock (NPG 450).

1803
Oil by William Hazlitt, unfinished and presumed destroyed, painted as a companion to portraits of Coleridge and Lamb (NPG 507) and described by Southey as 'at the gallows - deeply affected by his deserved fate yet determined to die like a man' (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, III).

c.1805
Miniature by unknown artist in Cornell University, ex Sotheby's book sale 20 April 1936 (56), inscribed: Wm Wordsworth Painted by my Husband's Father, believed to have been painted in Cambridge.

1806
Pencil and watercolour drawing by Edridge in the Wordsworth Museum, head and shoulders done for Sir George Beaumont with 'so much character as to leave one astonished that it could have been virtually ignored' (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, IV and p 47).

1815
Life-mask by Haydon (NPG 2020).

1817-18
Oils by Richard Carruthers in Wordsworth Museum and replica in East London, South Africa; exhibited RA 1818 (494) and Wordsworth Bicentenary 1970 (63), and engraved by H. Meyer for New Monthly Magazine, 1 February 1819 (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, IX).

1817
'Christ's Entry into Jerusalem' by Haydon in St Gregory's Seminary, Cincinnati; Keats, Hazlitt and Wordsworth among the onlookers (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, X). 'The most like his drooping weight of thought and expression' (Hazlitt, My First Acquaintance with Poets).

1818
Drawing by Haydon (NPG 3687).

Drawing by Edward Nash in private collection Hampshire, drawn for Southey but probably based on Meyer's engraving after Carruthers (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XI).

1820-2
Drawing and busts by Chantrey, see NPG 316a(146).

Watercolour by James Stephanoff and others in the House of Lords, 'Trial of Queen Caroline 1820', engraved by J. G. Murray with keyplate; Wordsworth, Beaumont, Jenner and Stephanoff himself are among onlookers at right (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XV).

1824
Oil by Rippingille at Clevedon Court (National Trust), exhibited RA 1824 (251) as 'Stage Coach Travellers'; the picture shows breakfast at an inn, Wordsworth sniffing a doubtful egg held by Coleridge (Francis Greenacre, The Bristol School of Artists, Bristol, 1973, pp 133-5).

c.1827
Silhouette cut for Sara Hutchinson and still in her family collection (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XVI).

c.1830
Chalk drawing by J. T. Smith at Sotheby's 2 March 1978 (139), oval head and shoulders sold with drawings of Chantrey and others.

1831-2
Oils by Sir William Boxall, NPG 4211 and private collection (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XVIII, XIX).

Drawing by Daniel Maclise in Yale University Library, lithographed for Fraser's Magazine, October 1832 (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XXII).

1831
Charcoal heightened with white chalk by F. W. Wilkin in Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XVII).

Bust by Lawrence Macdonald, untraced but mentioned by Dora Wordsworth (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XX).

Painting by 'Mr Gardener', untraced but mentioned by Dora Wordsworth (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XXI).

1832
Drawing by Pickersgill in St John's College Cambridge, reproduced Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, ed. Ernest De Selincourt, revised by Shaver, Moorman & Hill, V, 1979, frontispiece.

Oil by Pickersgill in St John's College Cambridge, and several copies - 'a cold map of the human countenance' (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XXIII-IV).

1833
Oil by Samuel Crosthwaite in private collection North Wales, bought from Appleby's 1959, half-length seated with books and dog 'Nap', signed and dated on canvas back: S. Crosthwaite Pinx/1833 (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XXV).

1835-41
Drawing by James Spedding in All Souls College Oxford, slight sketch of the head (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XXVII); Spedding's more ambitious drawings of Tennyson (NPG 3940) and Fitzgerald (Fitzwilliam Museum) are reproduced in Richard Ormond, National Portrait Gallery: Early Victorian Portraits, 1973, plates 89 and 330.

1835
Wax medallions by E. W. Wyon (NPG 2680).

c.1836
Miniature by Joseph Slater, untraced but mentioned by Crabb Robinson: 'some flashy portraits by Slater, one of Wordsworth -' (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XXVIII).

1837
Oil by Joseph Severn, untraced but mentioned by Crabb Robinson: 'Wordsworth went early to Severn to breakfast and to have his portrait taken', whole-length seated with umbrella (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XXIX).

1839-40
Miniature by Margaret Gillies in Dove Cottage, etched by C. W. Sherborn and mezzotint by Edward McInnes 1841. This was developed into a conversation piece with Mary Wordsworth known as 'Darby and Joan', destroyed but familiar from replicas. Another type by Margaret Gullies in a private collection Cumbria, profile to left, was engraved by J. C. Armytage 1844 (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XXX-XXXIV).

1839
Ink drawing by unknown artist (indecipherable monogram), profile to right with head crowned with laurel, known from the frontispiece to Poems and Extracts chosen by Wordsworth for Lady Mary Lowther and copied out by Sara Hutchinson, published 1905; Mrs Blanshard suggests that this may have been drawn by an admiring undergraduate at the Oxford DCL ceremony in 1839 (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XXXIII).

1840
Oil by Pickersgill in Dove Cottage, painted for Sir Robert Peel as a companion to Lawrence's portrait of 'my poor friend Southey' (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XXXVI).

1842
Oil by Haydon, 'Wordsworth on Helvellyn' (NPG 1857).

Miniature by Miss McInnes known from a mention in Crabb Robinson's Diary 1842 and a mezzotint by Edward McInnes 1846 (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XXXIX).

1843
Wordsworth succeeded Southey as Poet Laureate in 1843 and a cut in Illustrated London News, 15 April 1843 announced the appointment (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XL).

Pencil and white chalk head and unfinished oil whole-length, both by Haydon in Dove Cottage (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XLI, XLII).

1844
Oil by Samuel Crosthwaite in Dove Cottage, half-length with hand to chin, formerly at Lowther Castle (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XLIII).

Oil by Henry Inman in University of Pennsylvania, head and shoulders in oval signed and dated: H. INMA 1844 (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XLIV).

1845
Drawing by Jane Pasley from memory, whole-length seated to left known from etching by John Bull (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XLVII).

Drawing by Stephen Pearce, untraced but mentioned by Frederick Thrupp (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XLVIII).

1847
Pencil and chalk drawing by L. C. Wyon in Dove Cottage, profile to right inscribed: William Wordsworth/April 21st 1847/aetat 77/L. Wyon. Medals were struck from this with inscription on reverse: WILLIAM WORDSWORTH 1848. FRIEND OF THE WISE AND TEACHER OF THE GOOD from Coleridge's poem written after hearing Wordsworth recite from The Prelude; examples in British Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum, Dove Cottage, etc (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, XLIX).

Miniature by T. H. Carrick in private collection Cumbria and replica at Weston Park inscribed: This portrait was taken when Mr Wordsworth was under great depression of spirits from the recent loss of his daughter [Dora] (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, LI).

1849
Oil by Thomas Faed, 'Scott and his literary friends at Abbotsford', Scottish NPG (825).

1850-1
Marble statue by Frederick Thrupp in Westminster Abbey; models and a bust are in Torre Abbey, and a bust in Dove Cottage (Frances Blanshard, Portraits of Wordsworth, 1959, LVI-LXI).

1850-2
Marble bust by Angus Fletcher in Wordsworth family collection; models for the Westminster Abbey memorial were exhibited by Woolner and Papworth in 1852 and by Behnes in 1853; competitors were listed in The Art Journal, June 1851.

1850
Oil by Pickersgill (NPG 104).



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.