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Karl Friedrich Abel

Karl Friedrich Abel, by Thomas Gainsborough, circa 1765 -NPG 5081 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Karl Friedrich Abel

by Thomas Gainsborough
circa 1765
12 3/4 in. x 10 in. (324 mm x 254 mm)
NPG 5081

This portraitback to top

A compositional study for NPG 5947, differing principally in showing the coat buttoned up, the neck of the viola da gamba higher above his shoulder, and a window on the left.

Referenceback to top

Hayes 1970
J. Hayes, The Drawings of Thomas Gainsborough, 2 vols., 1970, no.27. (as ownership unknown).

Wilson 1977
M. I. Wilson, Apollo, CV, 1977, p 109.

Provenanceback to top

The artist’s daughter, Margaret Gainsborough, by whom bequeathed to Henry Briggs; his sale, Christie's, 25 February 1831, lot 106, bought Crompton;1 bought c.1935 by Hubert Gregory, Harrogate;2 Sotheby's, 1 April 1976, lot 66, bt. Agnew, from whom purchased 1976.

1 Assuming that NPG 5081 was the drawing described by G. W. Fulcher , Life of Thomas Gainsborough, 1856, p 216: ‘one of Gainsborough’s favourite drawings was a portrait of Abel. It was bequeathed by Miss Gainsborough to Mr Briggs, at the sale of whose pictures it was purchased by Mr Crompton.'
2 ‘I bought it over 40 years ago as part of a job lot at a sale in Yorkshire’ (Yorkshire Post, 2 April 1976).

Exhibitionsback to top

Gainsborough and his Musical Friends, Kenwood, 1977 (17); Gainsborough, Paris, 1981 (89); Gainsborough Drawings, Washington, Fort Worth, New Haven, 1983-84 (32); Gainsborough's Circle at Bath, Bath, 1988 (24); Music hath Charms, Orleans House, Twickenham, 1988 (103); Master Drawings 1993-95 (22); Gainsborough, Ferrara, 1998 (56).

Reproductionsback to top

R. Lane 1825 (Studies of Figures by Gainsborough).

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.

View all known portraits for Karl Friedrich Abel

View all known portraits for Thomas Gainsborough


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