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John Abernethy

John Abernethy, by George Dance, 1793 -NPG 1253 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

John Abernethy

by George Dance
1793
12 1/4 in. x 8 3/4 in. (311 mm x 222 mm)
NPG 1253

Inscriptionback to top

Signed and dated lower right: Octr 19th 1793/Geo: Dance.

This portraitback to top

Abernethy had been elected assistant-surgeon in 1787 (a post he held for twenty-eight years till succeeding Sir Charles Blicke as full surgeon in 1815) so had ample time to direct his famous personal magnetism towards the architect George Dance who had begun work on a new Surgeon's Theatre in 1791. Drawing profile portraits of his friends was one of Dance's favourite relaxations.

Physical descriptionback to top

Head and shoulders seated in profile to left, grey powdered wig and queue tied with black ribbon, linen cravat, coat with heavy collar and lapel; lower lip faintly coloured red.

Provenanceback to top

Dance family possession until sold by the Rev George Dance, the artist's grandson, at Christie's, 1 July 1898 (1), among a large collection of Dance portrait drawings, bought by E. Leggatt and by the NPG from him in April 1900.

Reproductionsback to top

Soft-ground etching by W. Daniell and an anonymous lithograph in reverse, both in the Wellcome Institute.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, 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 John Abernethy

View all known portraits for George Dance

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