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Joseph Addison

Joseph Addison, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, circa 1712 -NPG 3193 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Joseph Addison

by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
circa 1712
36 in. x 28 in. (914 mm x 711 mm)
NPG 3193

This portraitback to top

The Kit-Cat Club portrait. The many half-length versions include those in Magdalen College [1] and the Bodleian Library; [2] in the Sterling Library, London University (from Chesterfield House), [3] and with the Government Art Collection (12056). Others were listed at Mount Stuart in 1931 and Ickworth in 1908 (oval). [4] A drawing of this type by Edward Byng is in the British Museum. [5]

Footnotesback to top

1) G. Scharf, ‘Notes on the Principal Portraits of J. Addison’, in Bloxam’s Register of the ... Presidents ... of Magdalen College, Oxford, VI, 1879, no.5; Mrs R. L. Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the possession of the University, Colleges and City and County of Oxford, II, p 222, no.42; acquired in 1809; exhibited Second special exhibition of National Portraits (William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington, 1867, no.150.
2) G. Scharf, ‘Notes on the Principal Portraits of J. Addison’, in Bloxam’s Register of the ... Presidents ... of Magdalen College, Oxford, VI, 1879, no.4; Mrs R. L. Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the possession of the University, Colleges and City and County of Oxford, I, p 85, no.213; Catalogue of Portraits in the Bodleian Library by Mrs R. L. Poole completely revised and expanded by K. Garlick, 2004, p 1; given by the sitter’s daughter, Charlotte.
3) D. Piper, ‘The Chesterfield House Literary Portraits’, in R. Wellek & A. Ribeiro eds., Essays in Memory of James Marshall Osborn, 1979, p 192, no.15 as presumably a copy from NPG 3193; acquired from the Harewood sale, Christie’s, 29 June 1951, lot 33.
4) E. Farrer, Portraits in Suffolk Houses (East), 1908, p 199.
5) E. Croft-Murray, Decorative Painting in England, II, The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, 1960, p 238 (1897.8.13.7; Byng 6:f.22v inserted).

Referenceback to top

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 1 as probably 1703-10.

Scharf 1876
G. Scharf, ‘Notes on the Principal Portraits of J. Addison’, in Bloxam’s Register of the … Presidents … of Magdalen College, Oxford, VI, 1879, no.3.

Stewart 1983
J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.24 as c.1712.

Exhibitionsback to top

British Institution 1820, no.20; Art Treasures, Manchester, 1857, British Portrait Gallery 269; Second Special Exhibition of National Portraits ( ... William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington,1867, no.115; Royal House of Guelph, New Gallery, London, 1891, no.208; Marlborough and Anne 1934, no.234; Portraits of Writers 1984/5, no.12; Beningbrough 1985-89.

Reproductionsback to top

J. Simon before 1717 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 2 & 3);1 J. Faber II 1733 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 208/34).

1 The first state titled simply Mr Addison, the second adding his title of secretary of state i.e. after 1717.


This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685–1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, 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.

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