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William Romaine

2 of 89 portraits by Francis Cotes

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William Romaine

by Francis Cotes
oil on canvas, 1758
49 in. x 39 in. (1245 mm x 991 mm)
Purchased, 1924
Primary Collection
NPG 2036

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Francis Cotes (1726-1770), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 89 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

This portrait was painted shortly after Romaine had resigned as preacher in 1755 where society had effectively objected to the influx of poorer people anxious to hear his enthusiastic sermons.

Related worksback to top

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 407
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 531
  • Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 41, 160 Read entry

    Pressed and gilt papier-mâché on pine, mitred, the sight edge cross-banding worked in the gesso, all the papier-mâché gessoed before gilding, the centre and corner scrolls and inset lozenges originally burnished as revealed by tests, other areas perhaps originally water gilt but largely regilt in oil. 2 3⁄ 4 inches wide (4 inches at the corners).

    By the 1750s papier-mâché was beginning to be used more commonly for picture frames. This frame of the 1760s is probably not original to Francis Cotes's portrait of the evangelical divine, William Romaine, which appears to have been acquired by the Gallery in another frame.1 In its damaged state, it is clear that the frame was constructed by applying a layer of papier-mâché to the pine carcass; the papier-mâché was then gessoed and gilded. Though the sight edge twisted ribbon, worked in the gesso rather than papier-mâché, is not unlike that on another Cotes portrait, that of Lord St Vincent, the main body of the frame is altogether less substantial than most other frames of the period and the lozenge motif set between C-scrolls at the centres and corners seems a rather uncomfortable feature.

    1 Francis Draper's bill for repairing the frame of the Romaine portrait on acquisition in 1924 refers to 'making up missing carving on carved corner O. G. frame'.

Subjects & Themesback to top

Events of 1758back to top

Current affairs

Comet observed in previous centuries returns exactly at the time predicted by astronomer Edmond Halley and is subsequently known by his name.

Art and science

Liverpool-born artist George Stubbs sets up in London as a painter.
James Woodforde, an English country parson, begins a detailed diary of everyday life, which is later published as Diary of a Country Parson.

International

Seven Years' War: British General John Forbes captures the strategic French stronghold Fort Duquesne and renames it Pittsburgh after British Secretary of State, William Pitt the Elder. British troops capture Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.
Pope Clement XIII succeeds Pope Benedict XIV as the 248th pope.

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