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Frederick William Beechey

Frederick William Beechey, by Stephen Pearce, 1850 -NPG 911 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Frederick William Beechey

by Stephen Pearce
15 in. x 12 5/8 in. (381 mm x 321 mm)
NPG 911

This portraitback to top

This is a study for Pearce's group, 'The Arctic Council' (NPG 1208), as well as an autonomous portrait in its own right. The date was provided by the artist in a memorandum of c.1899 (NPG archives). In the group, Beechey is shown seated, with his left arm on the table, and his body more in profile than in the NPG study, but features, pose of head, hair, and details of costume are identical. He is wearing the undress uniform (1856 pattern) either of a naval captain with over three years service, or of a commodore (1st or 2nd class), and the Arctic Medal (1818-55). In his memorandum, Pearce records painting another portrait of Beechey in 1858, based on the NPG study, for the Beechey family.

Referenceback to top

Pearce 1903
S. Pearce, Memories of the Past (1903), p 59.

Physical descriptionback to top

Healthy complexion, blue eyes, auburn hair. Dressed in a dark stock, white shirt, yellow waistcoat, dark blue naval uniform, with gilt buttons and epaulettes, and silver medal with grey ribbon. Background colour dark bluish-grey.

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.

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