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Joseph Black

1 of 5 portraits of Joseph Black

Joseph Black, by James Tassie, 1788 -NPG 3238 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Joseph Black

by James Tassie
1788
3 1/2 in. x 2 1/2 in. (89 mm x 64 mm)
NPG 3238

Inscriptionback to top

Incised on truncation: JOSEPH BLACK MD/1788 and: Tassie F.

This portraitback to top

Related wax models are in the Victoria and Albert Museum (A.84.1965) and the Wedgwood Museum, Barlaston, the latter used for the Wedgwood medallion first produced in 1788. [1] Gray also records a much smaller version (¾ in. high). [2] The Tassie profile was twice engraved: by Mackenzie 1801 and by J. Beugo (after J. Brown). A wax portrait of Black dated 1788, attributed to Tassie, was sold Sotheby’s, 12 December 1985, lot 287.

Footnotesback to top

1) Illus. R. Reilly and G. Savage, Wedgwood the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 64 (as from a model by William Tassie, sic).
2) J. M. Gray, James and William Tassie, a biographical and critical sketch with a catalogue of their portrait medallions of modern personages, 1894, no.38; Vernon sale, Christie’s, 20 April 1882, lot 45.

Referenceback to top

Gray 1894
J. M. Gray, James and William Tassie, a biographical and critical sketch with a catalogue of their portrait medallions of modern personages, 1894, no.37.

Provenanceback to top

Sotheby’s, 18 April 1945, lot 110, bought Leggatt for the NPG.


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.

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