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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

William Beckford (1709-1770), Owner of enslaved people; politician

1766
Bust by J. F. Moore, exhibited Free Society of Artists, London, 1766 (209). Possibly the unidentified plaster bust of Beckford at Stourhead (exhibited William Beckford, Bath, 1966, no.9) and presumably related to Moore's statue of 1767.

1767
Statue by J. F. Moore in mayoral robes, his right hand held up before him, his left resting on a scroll (whenever the Public is in Danger ... ); the figure of Britannia on the cippus. Ironmongers' Hall, London, presented by William Beckford jr. 1833 (illus. R. Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors, 1968 ed., f.p.240). Engraved anon. (as largely exhibited in Pall Mall). Exhibited Free Society of Artists, London, 1767 (89) when identified by Walpole as Beckford (Wal. Soc., XXVII, 1939, p 72).

1769
Engraving by R. Houston (pub. 29 September 1769), half-length seated holding a scroll: London Petition/Instead of punishing, confering Honours on a Paymaster the Public Defaulter of unaccounted Millions..., with his two sheriffs, James Townsend and John Sawbridge (who rests his elbow on Locke on Govt.).

c.1769
Anon. engraving, whole-length standing in mayoral robes with gold collar, left foot in front of right leg, his right hand gesturing to an open paper inscribed The Humble Address..., titled: This being the second Time of his Mayoralty & the third Time of Representing that City in Parliament. A weak image; the head seems to provide the basis for the bust-length oval engraving by A. Benoist as well as Kirk’s medal of 1770, see NPG 5758.

Drawn and engraved by John Dixon, whole-length standing, his left hand on the Magna Charta, his right holding Bill of Rights, caption includes ‘This being the second Time...’ (illus. B. Fothergill, Beckford of Fonthill, 1979, f.p.192). Altered from Dixon’s plate of Benjamin Heath after R. E. Pine (G. S. Layard, ... Engraved British Portraits from altered Plates, 1927, p 59).

Painting attributed to R. E. Pine, whole length in mayoral robes, looking left, his left hand on a table on which lies the sceptre; with a distant view of St Paul’s. Parham Park, from the 13th Duke of Hamilton sale, Christie’s, 6 November 1919, lot 56 as Romney.

1770
Anon. medal in mayoral robes (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, no.142).

Medal by John Kirk, see NPG 5758.

Following Beckford's death the City Aldermen commissioned a statue for Guildhall; several designs were submitted before the commission was given to J. F. Moore.

Terracotta statuette by Nathaniel Smith, whole length in mayoral robes, his left hand resting on a paper inscribed The hum/Addres... Victoria and Albert Museum (A.48.1928) with an ink drawing of the figure (4910.12; both illus. J. Physick, Designs for English Sculpture, 1969, figs.104-05).

Model for a statue by Agostino Carlini, engraved F. Bartolozzi 1772 from a drawing by Biagio Rebecca; H. Meyer 1829 (three-quarter length); J. Chapman 1798 (bust length).

1771
Sculpture by John Rickets jr., exhibited Free Society of Artists, London, 1771 (203).

1772
Statue by J. F. Moore in mayoral robes, the head closely resembling that of the 1767 statue, his right hand held up before him, his left gesturing towards a table; flanked by the seated figures of London and Trade and Commerce. Guildhall, London (illus. M. Whinney, Sculpture in Britain 1530-1830, 1964, pl.133A). Engraved C. Grignion sr. 1771 and anon.

1773
Medal by John Kirk (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, no.170 and see under no.166).

Anon., and crude, engravings include two whole lengths as lord mayor, (one, perhaps another design for a monument, with his right hand resting on the shoulder of a seated Britannia, his foot on a prostrate figure of Tyranny).

Doubtful Portraits
Statuette by the youthful John Flaxman, listed by Mrs Esdaile in the collection at University College, London (MS list 1925, NPG archive), presumed destroyed during the 1939-45 war. Painting attributed to Tilly Kettle (Palace of Westminster, from Sotheby’s, 25 June 1952, lot 130; illus. D. E. Ostergard ed., William Beckford 1760-1844: An Eye for the Magnificent, 2001, p 299); miniature attributed to Jeremiah Meyer, sold Christie’s, 30 March 1976, lot 40.



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.