Study for 'Patrons and Lovers of Art'

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© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Study for 'Patrons and Lovers of Art'

by Pieter Christoffel Wonder
oil on canvas, 1826-1830
24 1/2 in. x 18 1/2 in. (622 mm x 470 mm)
Given by Edward Joseph, 1888
Primary Collection
NPG 792

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This is a preliminary study for Wonder's painting of an imaginary gallery hung with pictures from famous British collections. The portraits depict the main art collectors of the period. The composition celebrates the role of individual benefactors in the much celebrated foundation of the National Gallery (1824). On the left, kneeling in front of Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne, is George Watson Taylor (1771-1841), a collector of Italian Renaissance paintings. On the right, top hat in hand, is Sir John Murray (1768?-1827) who commissioned Wonder's painting. Next to him, leaning forward, is the Rev. William Holwell-Carr (1758-1830), a benefactor of the newly formed National Gallery. Behind them, holding his palette, is the artist himself.

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Current affairs

Riots break out in Lancashire against the use of the power loom, invented by Edmund Cartwright. The looms were gradually being introduced across the country, replacing large numbers of manual workers.

Art and science

Thomas Telford's Menai Straits and Conway Suspension Bridges open, the largest of their kind at the time.


Carl Weber arrives to live in England after his opera Der Freischutz is the hit of the London season.

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