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Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Satirist and divine

Clergyman, pamphleteer and satirist; b. Dublin; Trinity, Dublin, 1682; Hart Hall, Oxford, MA 1692; worked for Sir William Temple at Moor Park 1689-99; ordained 1694; prebendary of St Patrick’s, Dublin, 1700; in London 1707-09, 1710-14, 1726 and 1727; Dean of St Patrick’s 1713; published The Tale of a Tub 1704, Gulliver’s Travels 1726, and pamphlets conveying his frustration with Anglo-Irish affairs; his Journal to Stella (his friend Esther Johnson) was published posthumously in 1766 and 1768; in his later years he suffered from ‘a noise in my ears and deafness that makes me an unsociable creature, hating to see others’.

‘Though his face has a look of dullness in it, he has very particular eyes: they are quite azure as the heavens, and there’s a very uncommon archness about them’ (Alexander Pope).

'He stood five feet five inches high' (Maynard Mack, 1985).

This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, 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.