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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Writer

Novelist and playwright; b. Pallas, Co. Longford, came to London 1756; published The Vicar of Wakefield 1766, The Deserted Village 1770 and She Stoops to Conquer 1773.

‘something under middle size; his limbs on which he prided himself, sturdy and well shaped; his habits active ... His complexion was pale, his forehead and upper lip rather projecting, his face round, pitted with the small pox, and marked with strong lines of thinking ... His eyes were of grey or hazel colour and possessed considerable expression; and he always ... wore a wig ... Although not prepossessing on first appearance, the moment he became at ease the native good humour and benevolence of his disposition broke forth’ (Sir James Prior, 1837).

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.