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Joseph Addison

3 of 24 portraits of Joseph Addison

Joseph Addison, by Michael Dahl, 1719 -NPG 714 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Joseph Addison

by Michael Dahl
40 1/2 in. x 31 1/4 in. (1029 mm x 794 mm)
NPG 714

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed, bottom left: M. Dahl pinx./1719, and, top left: Addison; on the table, the folded paper inscribed: To/Jos. Addison Esq.

This portraitback to top

A bloated Addison seen at the end of his life. The inscribed identity and the artist’s name and date are in the same hand as other inscriptions on portraits at Hartlebury, and were presumably made by Hurd’s direction. Piper pointed out that the portrait may have been posthumous (Addison died on 17 June 1719); the recurrence of the ink well in other Dahl portraits (e.g. John Freind), suggests it was a studio property.
A 20th-century copy by Joyce Aris is at Hartlebury. [1]

Footnotesback to top

1) Illus. J. Nankivell, The Collection of Portraits in Oils … at Hartlebury Castle, 1953, f.p.29.

Referenceback to top

Nankivell 1953
J. Nankivell, The Collection of Portraits in Oils … at Hartlebury Castle, 1953, pp 29-30.

Nisser 1927
W. Nisser, Michael Dahl, 1927, pp 76. 122 and cat. p 1, no.2b.1

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 2.

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.10.

1 Nisser, unexpectedly, found NPG 714 ‘expressionless’ and one of Dahl’s ‘feeblest portraits’.

Provenanceback to top

Thomas Newton (1704-82), bishop of Bristol; bought by Richard Hurd (1720-1808), bishop of Worcester, 1783, and bequeathed to the See of Worcester, Hartlebury Castle; Robert Carr, bishop of Worcester (1774-1841);1 his son-in-law William R. Laslett (d. 1884)2 of Abberton Hall, Pershore, Worcs., on whose death sold to the NPG by the Rev R. J. Baker (1829-86).3

1 A note of 1945 from J. R. Nankivell (Addison Icon Notes, NPG archive), said that ‘about 1840 there was a Bishop of Worcester whose financial affairs caused considerable embarrassment’.
2 MP 1852-60, 1868-74; married Maria, daughter of Bishop Carr (Laslett’s sister Sophia d. 1852 bequeathed money to the parish of Hartlebury; Gentleman's Magazine, NS, XXXVII, 1852, I, pp 208-09).
3 Rector of Lanteglos, Camelford, 1876-86; son of Thomas Baker of Hartlebury rectory. Laslett died in January 1884 and Baker was offering the portrait to the NPG from 12 March; writing on mourning paper from Abberton Hall, he said the portrait had ‘lately come’ into his possession; on 14 June he was writing from Lanteglos.

Reproductionsback to top

J. Simon c.1719 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1 as Dahl pinx 1719); C. Picart 1810 (for Hurd’s ed. of Addison’s Works, 1811).

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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View all known portraits for Michael Dahl


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