1 of 4 portraits of Samuel Arnold
- Extended catalogue entry
Regency Portraits Catalogue
by George Dance
10 in. x 7 1/2 in. (254 mm x 191 mm)
Inscriptionback to top
Signed and dated lower left: Geo: Dance Jan 25th 1795.
This portraitback to top
At the time of Dance's portrait Dr Arnold was aged 55, organist of Westminster Abbey and celebrated, apart from his opera and oratorios, for his ambitious project to issue the complete works of Handel. A miniature of about 1790 shows him holding the first of about 40 volumes which he was able to produce before a fall down the steps of the Abbey library prevented him from completing the plan.
Physical descriptionback to top
Head and shoulders seated in profile to left, grey powdered wig, queue tied with black ribbon, lace cravat, coat with heavy collar; lower lip faintly coloured red. The contemporary mount is prepared for engraving with parallel lines and lettered: D [long space] ARNOLD M. D., though Daniell's soft-ground etching is lettered Samuel Arnold Mus. D.
Provenanceback to top
Dance family possession and sold by the Rev George Dance, the artist's grandson, Christie's, 1 July 1898 (7), among a large collection of George Dance drawings; bought Colnaghi for the NPG.
Reproductionsback to top
Soft-ground etching in reverse by William Daniell published 1812 in A Collection of Portraits ... by George Dance, Esq. R.A., 1814, II, p 58 (see Thomas Sutton, The Daniells Artists and Travellers, 1954, pp 175-6).
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.