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Jeremy Bentham

Jeremy Bentham, by John Field, circa 1823 -NPG 3068 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Jeremy Bentham

by John Field
circa 1823
3 1/8 in. x 2 1/2 in. (79 mm x 64 mm)
NPG 3068

Inscriptionback to top

The label, formerly verso, of Miers & Field/111 The Strand, London,1 has been inscribed: Jeremy Bentham a good likeness2 and, in an earlier hand: From the Original./to his dear Niece,/Sarah Jane Bentham/2.5.p.5 Aug 1823.

1 John Miers d. 1821; Field then worked with his son as Miers and Field until 1830.
2 This hand recurs on the label NPG 3069, see Samuel Bentham.

This portraitback to top

Another example in University College, London, is inscribed J. Bentham Aged 75. 1822/As good a likeness as can be conceived – done in this way. [1] In 1823 Bentham’s nephew George took three such silhouettes for his sisters in Paris, one of them evidently NPG 3068. [2]
In November 1822 Bentham had sent to Field and Miers hair for silhouette memorial rings (incorporating smaller images of the head alone); in his Will he left twenty-seven rings to his friends and employees, of which one, given to the Scottish publisher William Tait, is with University College. [3]

Footnotesback to top

1) C. Fuller ed., The Old Radical: Representations of Jeremy Bentham, 1998, p 55.
2) Ibid. Another with plaited hair beneath the truncation illus. S. McKechnie, British Silhouette Artists and their Work 1760-8160, 1978, no.756, as coll. M. A. H. Christie.
3) Illus. C. Fuller ed., The Old Radical: Representations of Jeremy Bentham, 1998, p 55, pl.VII.

Referenceback to top

Fuller 1998
C. Fuller ed., The Old Radical: Representations of Jeremy Bentham, 1998 (University College, London), p 55.

Provenanceback to top

Given by the sitter in 1823 to his niece Sarah Bentham; her brother George Bentham (d. 1884), whose collections passed to Sir Joseph and Lady Hooker who sold it, with other Bentham material, to the British Museum in 1897; transferred to the NPG in 1939.1

1 For this provenance, see NPG 3069.

Exhibitionsback to top

Silhouette, NPG, 1972 (16).

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, 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.

View all known portraits for Jeremy Bentham

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