Regency Portraits Catalogue
Thomas Young (1773-1829), Physician, physicist and Egyptologist
Miniature by J. C. D. Engleheart exhibited RA 1804.
Miniature by Andrew Dunn of 1813 known from an etching by Mrs Dawson Turner, head and shoulders to right as 'Foreign Secretary to the Royal Society'. Mrs Turner's original pencil drawing in V&A Museum is accompanied by a letter from Young to Mr Turner dated 20 April 1822 mentioning four sittings to an unnamed artist: 'to my Apelles - in the first sitting he tried without success to alter Mrs Turner's etching - of the three succeeding hours or half hours the annexed is the result - whether it can afford any further limits for patching me up I leave Mrs Turner and yourself to determine ...' (V&A E.1204-1927). This portrait has not been located.
Oil by Lawrence in private collection Norfolk. This was commissioned by Hudson Gurney who as a boy had shared a tutor with Young and became his lifelong friend. Negotiations with Lawrence were undertaken by Chantrey in 1822: 'I called yesterday at Chantrey's; he is still strenuous in desiring me to make the application to Lawrence through him ... I am told that Lawrence will certainly undertake it ...' (letter of September 1822, cit. George Peacock, Life of Thomas Young MD, FRS, &c., 1855, p 459). Prince Duleep Singh dated the finished portrait to 1826 (Portraits in Norfolk Houses, 1927, I, p 349). A copy by Henry P. Briggs was given by Hudson Gurney to the Royal Society in 1842 (reproduced in colour in Norman Robinso, Royal Society: Catalogue of Portraits, 1980, p 337); a copy by Thomas Brigstocke in the Boardroom of St George's Hospital was given in 1851 to St George's where Young had been physician from 1811 to his death; later copies are by Minnie Taylor in Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and by Hugh Riviere 1922 in the Royal Institution (RCO 213). Charles Turner's mezzotint was published by Colnaghi 6 April 1830 and stipples by Adcock 1830 and Thomson 1840.
Oil by Mary Pearson exhibited RA 1827 (42) as 'Dr Young' - possibly the sub-Lawrence type in a private collection France in 1948 (photograph in NPG).
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.