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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

William Bligh (1754-1817), Admiral and explorer; captain of the Bounty

c.1776
Painting attributed to John Webber, half length as midshipman. Sotheby's, 8 April 1992, lot 35; by descent from the sitter's family (illus. John Webber, Bern, Manchester, 1996, p 139).

1791
Pastel by John Russell, half length as a post captain. Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby. Exhibited RA 1791 (188). Engraved J. Condé 1792 (illus. G. Callender, 'The Portraiture of Bligh', The Mariner's Mirror, 1936, XXII, f.p.175); H. Adlard 1860 (illus. G. Kennedy, Bligh, the man and his mutinies, 1989, f.p.146).

1794
Drawing by George Dance, see NPG 1138.

1801
Wax model by G. Leader, exhibited RA 1801 (1026).

c.1801
Miniature by John Smart, see NPG 4317.

1805
Drawing by H. A. Barker (the sitter’s son-in-law), bust-length oval in civilian dress. State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, (illus. ILN, 2 May 1936; O. Rutter, Turbulent Journey, 1936, f.p.216; G. Callender, 'The Portraiture of Bligh', The Mariner's Mirror, 1936, XXII, f.p.174).

1814
Miniature by Alexander Huey, half length as vice-admiral. Quaritch 1994 (illus. G. Kennedy, Bligh, the man and his mutinies, 1989, f.p.147). Exhibited RA 1814 (462).

c.1814
Unattributed miniature, bust-length oval as vice-admiral. State Library of New South Wales, Sydney (illus. O. Rutter, Turbulent Journey, 1936, f.p.260). What appears to be a version (illus. G. Mackaness, Life of Bligh, 1931, I, front.) was rejected as a likeness by Callender (G. Callender, 'The Portraiture of Bligh', The Mariner's Mirror, 1936, XXII, p 176). A whole-length portrait of 1906 by J. R. Ashton (artist’s collection, Sydney, 1937), used the head from this miniature.

Doubtful Portraits
Miniature (Mrs Oakes of Epping, New South Wales, 1931; illus. G. Mackaness, Life of Bligh, 1931, II, front.); miniature by Shee, ‘Admiral Bligh at age of 21’, exhibited Royal Naval Exhibition, Chelsea, 1891(1875), lent Mrs C. F. Glennie; silhouette sold Sotheby’s, 29 October 1979, lot 88; engraving by J. Chapman, as a rear-admiral wearing the Camperdown medal (illus. Country Life, CLXXXIII, 1989, p 123; cf. G. Callender, 'The Portraiture of Bligh', The Mariner's Mirror, 1936, XXII, p 177).



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.