Sir Francis Beaufort
- Extended catalogue entry
Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue
Sir Francis Beaufort
by Stephen Pearce
19 7/8 in. x 16 in. (505 mm x 406 mm)
This portraitback to top
This is a study for Pearce's 'Arctic Council' (see NPG 1208), as well as an autonomous portrait in its own right. Pose, features and costume are identical with those in the group, except for a differently coloured waistcoat (yellow in the study, dark brown in the group). According to a memorandum by Pearce of c.1899 (NPG archives), the study was painted in 1850. Pearce used the NPG study, in conjunction with further sittings, for the three-quarter length portrait of Beaufort of 1855-6 in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, exhibited RA, 1857 (354), engraved by J. Scott, published H. Graves & Co, 1857 (example in NPG). The latter was commissioned by the subscribers to the Beaufort testimonial, and is mentioned in Pearce's Memories of the Past (1903), p 80, reproduced facing p 8, and in a single-sheet pamphlet published by Graves (example in NPG, 'Pearce Documents'). Pearce records painting a replica of the NPG portrait for the sitter's son, in his memorandum of c.1899. Besides the group by Pearce, and the drawing by Brockedon (see below), no other portraits of Beaufort are recorded.
Physical descriptionback to top
Red cheeks, bluish eyes, grey hair. Dressed in a black stock, white shirt, yellow waistcoat and black coat, with a monocle. Inscribing a white map on a brownish-red table. Spectacles and cutting instrument bottom left, with a box of bottles beyond (for inks?). Very dark background colour.
Provenanceback to top
Commissioned or purchased by Lady Franklin, and bequeathed by her niece, Miss Sophia Cracroft, in accordance with the wishes of her aunt, 1892.
This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Ormond, Early Victorian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1973, 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.