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Regency Portraits Catalogue

Robert Morrison (1782-1834), Missionary in China

Morrison came back to England in 1824, returning to Canton in 1826; most of his portraits were painted during this period.

Oil by J. R. Wildman offered to the NPG 1880, three-quarter-length standing in black suit signed: I R Wildman Pinxit (Scharf's sketch in Trustees’ Sketchbook, XXVII, 4); engraved by T. Blood December 1824.

Miniature by Woodman exhibited RA 1825 (75) and 'Engraved from a Miniature of the same size in the possession of Mrs Morrison, Painted by R Woodman, 69 Newman Street ... Pubd May 1825 for the Home Missionary Society ...’.

Pencil and watercolour drawing by William Nicholson in Scottish NPG (1237), probably a study for Nicholson's etched Portraits of Living Characters of Scotland.

Miniature by W. Patten exhibited RA 1826 (452).

Oil by Chinnery in private collection USA, group with two Chinese assistants translating the Bible, sent home in 1829 and exhibited RA 1830 (149); a version on wood panel was at Sotheby's 20 December 1973 (74); mezzotint by Charles Turner (Alfred Whitman, Charles Turner, 1907, 385) commissioned by the Canton Factory and published 29 March 1830 (Robin Hutcheon, Chinnery, 1975, p 69 and Lindsay Ride, Robert Morrison, 1957, p 12).

Two small oil heads of Morrison and his wife were shown to the NPG in 1970 by a descendant Mrs Spiers, attributed to Chinnery but closely related to the Wildman portrait.

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.