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Karl Friedrich Abel

3 of 5 portraits of Karl Friedrich Abel

Karl Friedrich Abel, by John Nixon, 1787 -NPG 5178 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Karl Friedrich Abel

by John Nixon
1787
7 in. x 5 3/8 in. (178 mm x 138 mm)
NPG 5178

Inscriptionback to top

Signed in monogram and dated lower right: JN:1787; inscribed below: A Solo on the Viola di Gamba/ Mr Abel., and numbered, top right, in ink: 161.

This portraitback to top

Gardiner’s etching was printed immediately after Abel’s death in June 1787; it shows minor differences, the viola being a little taller, with both pegs clear of Abel’s head.

Physical descriptionback to top

Playing the viola da gamba, wearing an old-fashioned coat, a bag wig and sword.

Provenanceback to top

French Hospital of La Providence, Rochester; Christie’s, 22 November 1977, lot 41, bought Baskett, from whom purchased 1978.

Reproductionsback to top

W. N. Gardiner. A Solo on the Viola di Gamba Mr Abel (July 1878).1

1 M. D. George, British Museum, Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires, vol.VII, no.8264


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