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Regency Portraits Catalogue

John Bannister (1760-1836), Comedian and actor

Lillian Hall, Catalogue of Dramatic portraits in ... Harvard College Library lists 43 engravings of Jack Bannister including him as 'Ben' in Love for Love, 'Captain Bodadil' in Every Man in his Humour, 'Colonel Feignwell' (NPG 1769), 'Dick' in The Apprentice, 'Don Whiskerandos' in The Critic, 'Echo' in The World, 'Gradus' in Who's the Dupe?, 'Jonas' in The Island of St Marguerite, 'Lenitive' in The Prize, 'Leopold' in The Siege of Belgrade, 'Lovell' in High Life below Stairs, 'Major Macpherson' in False Alarms, 'Mrs Cole' in The Minor, 'Scout' in The Village Lawyer, 'Uncle Toby' in The Devil in the Wine Cellar, 'Walter' in Children in the Wood, 'Young Philpot' in The Citizen, 'Young Rapid' in Cure for Heartache, and 'Zaphna' in Mahomet. Copies of most of these are in the NPG. Paintings and drawings of Bannister are:

Pen and wash drawing by Rowlandson in the Paul Mellon Collection, in his Drury Lane dressing-room, reproduced John Hayes, Rowlandson, 1972, p 73; pen and watercolour drawing in the British Museum, with Parsons in The Quaker, reproduced in Hayes, loc. cit., p 103.

Oil by Zoffany in the Garrick Club, as 'Scout' in The Village Lawyer (Haymarket, 28 August 1787), reproduced in Manners & Williamson, John Zoffany, 1920, p 144.

Oil by Mather Brown exhibited RA 1787 (242), mezzotint by J. R. Smith publioshed 12 October 1787.

Drawing by Rowlandson in Wiggin Collection, Boston Public Library, reproduced in Hayes, op. cit., p 141.

Coloured drawing by S. De Wilde in British Museum, Burney, I, No.136, whole-length seated as 'Ben' in Love for Love (Drury Lane, 11 October 1788); line engraved by Bromley published 16 June 1791.

Gouache drawing, artist unknown, in the Garrick Club, one of the series of heads of 'the School of Garrick' (C. K. Adams, Catalogue of Portraits in the Garrick Club, 48F).

Oil by S. De Wilde in the Garrick Club, whole-length with William Parsons in The Village Lawyer, Bannister as 'Scout', Parsons as 'Sheepface'; both acted these parts in 1787 but De Wilde's picture is signed and dated 1793 and exhibited RA 1793 (285).

Oil by unknown artist in Maugham Collection, whole-length with Pinder in Richard III, reproduced Guide, 1981, p 23.

Black and red chalk drawing by S. De Wilde in V&A Museum (D824), signed and dated 26 October 1794, whole-length seated smoking a long clay pipe.

Oil by S. Dc Wilde exhibited RA 1794 (93), mezzotint by Bell published 1 April 1794, whole-length as 'Gradus' in Who's the Dupe? (Drury Lane, 22 April 1790).

Oil by S. De Wilde in the Maugham Collection, whole-length with Maria Bland and Ursula Booth in The Children in the Wood (Haymarket, October 1793), exhibited RA 1794 (124); reproduced in colour in Mander and Mitchenson, Guide to the Maugham Collection, 1981, p 26.

Stipple, painted and engraved by P. Roberts, The European Magazine, 1 May 1795.

Four oils by Opie are recorded in Ada Earland, John Opie and his Circle, 1911, p 262, owners untraced.

Oil by Beechey exhibited RA 1796 (356), 'portrait of a comedian', oval stipple by Ridley in The Monthly Mirror, 1 July 1797.

Oil by S. De Wilde in the Garrick Club, whole-length with Richard Suett in Sylvester Daggerwood (Haymarket, 7 July 1796) and another version 1798 in Maugham Collection, both reproduced in Mander and Mitchenson, op. cit., pp 106 & 111 , and Guide, 1981, p 33.

Oil by Thomas Phillips exhibited RA 1798 (530).

Pastel by Russell (NPG 1769).

Miniatures by Henry Burch and John Barry exhibited RA 1799 (796 and 733).

Pencil drawing by George Dance (NPG 1136).

Pastel by J. Russell in the Garrick Club, whole-length as 'Lenitive' in The Prize (Drury Lane, 11 March 1793).

Before 1804
Oil by Abbott, sold Christie's 16 June 1804 (41) bought Winstanley.

Oil by Henry Singleton exhibited RA 1807 (528) with Maria Duncan in The Curfew (Drury Lane, 19 February 1807).

Watercolour by S. De Wilde in the Garrick Club, one of 57 whole-length drawings mounted 6 in a frame; no. 65b shows Bannister as 'Storm' in Ella Rosenberg (Drury Lane, 1807-8).

Oil by S. Drummond engraved by Ridley for The European Magazine, 1 March 1811.

Oil by Beechey sold Stevens & Brown 1942, identity uncertain, half-length to left in plum-coloured coat, black collar, yellow waistcoat, aged about 55.

Pencil drawing by G. H. Harlow at Sotheby's 15 March 1984 (154), signed and dated 1816.

Pencil drawing by John Varley in the Garrick Club inscribed: Drawn by John Varley/in the Graphic Telescope/in 1816, profile to right; another in profile to left in V&A Museum (Dawson Turner) reproduced Walpole Society Journal, XXI, plate 45b.

Oil by G. Clint exhibited RA 1828 (337) as an old man seated with hat and stick, mezzotint by Clint published 1829.

Oil by C. R. Leslie in V&A Museum (Sheepshank Gift 113), 'Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman' where 'Uncle Toby' is said to be a portrait of Jack Bannister.

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.