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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Karl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787), Composer and concert impresario

c.1765
Painting and drawing by Thomas Gainsborough, see NPG 5947 and NPG 5081.

1766
Drawing by Francesco Bartolozzi, exhibited Society of Artists, London, 1766 (7).

1777
Painting by Thomas Gainsborough, whole-length at table, his viola da gamba across his knee. Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif. (25.19; R. Aleson & S. Bennett, Catalogue of British Paintings at the Huntington, 2001, no.15); previously acquired by Queen Charlotte after Abel’s death and her sale, 25 May 1819, lot 93. Exhibited RA 1777 (135). A small half length version attributed to Gainsborough, exhibited English Conversation Pieces, 25 Park Lane, 1930 (119, as Sebastian Bach 1735-82) lent Lady Hillingdon. A head of Abel by Gainsborough in an American private collection (possibly Dupont sale, Christie’s, 10 April 1797, lot 16, and sold Parke-Bernet, New York, 5 April 1944, lot 17) relates directly to the Huntington portrait.

1780
Painting by C-J. Robineau, half-length at keyboard. Royal Collection (Sir Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, 1969, I, no.1048). A version ascribed to Fuseli was wrongly identified as Haydn (R. Hughes, Haydn, 1962, p 87).

c.1780?
Unattributed painting, half-length seated with papers and a quill. Faculty of Music, Oxford, given by Dr Philip Hayes before 1795 (Mrs R. L. Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the possession of the University, Colleges and City and County of Oxford, 1912, I, p 162: ‘Gutch says this is the work of an artist named Teeds’). The head resembles that of the 1777 Gainsborough.

1787
Drawing by John Nixon, see NPG 5178.

c.1790
Caricature by Thomas Rowlandson, see J. C. Bach.

Undated
Unattributed drawing exhibited Music Loan Exhibition, London, 1904 (cat., p 234, lent Lionel Benson).



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.