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Sir William Blackstone

1 of 2 portraits of Sir William Blackstone

Sir William Blackstone, by Unknown artist, circa 1755 -NPG 388 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Sir William Blackstone

by Unknown artist
circa 1755
49 in. x 39 1/4 in. (1245 mm x 997 mm)
NPG 388

This portraitback to top

Although NPG 388 long bore an attribution to Reynolds, this is untenable; the figure sits uncomfortably and the composition overall is inelegant.

Referenceback to top

Graves & Cronin 1899-1901
A. Graves & W. V. Cronin, A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 4 vols., 1899-1901, I, pp 87-88.

Physical descriptionback to top

Brown eyes, white powdered wig; wearing white bands, a black suit beneath a scarlet and rose DCL gown; he holds a sealed document and sits in carved, maroon-upholstered chair.

Provenanceback to top

Philip Goode (b. 1782), solicitor of Howland Street, London, by 1858;1 he bequeathed his ‘original portrait of Sir William Blackstone by Sir Joshua Reynolds’ to his wife and thence to his younger son; sold by order of Chancery [Joseph v. Goode etc], Furber, Price & Furber, 22 October 1873 (‘valuable portrait of Judge Blackstone painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds’); Price & Furber, sold Christie’s, 31 January 1874, lot 300; purchased from Graves, March 1874.

1 The sitter’s grandson, William Blackstone (1810-81), had sold the Gainsborough portrait in 1835, see M. Davies, National Gallery Catalogues, The British School, 1946, p 62; NPG 388 was possibly sold by the family at the same time.

Reproductionsback to top

Scriven 1826 (from the original ... by Reynolds); R. B. Parkes 1874.

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 Sir William Blackstone


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