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John Boydell

John Boydell, by Sir William Beechey, based on a work of 1801 -NPG 934 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

John Boydell

after Sir William Beechey
based on a work of 1801
20 1/2 in. x 16 1/2 in. (521 mm x 419 mm)
NPG 934

This portraitback to top

A reduced, accurate copy of the whole-length portrait by Beechey, commissioned by the Corporation of London in 1800 to commemorate Boydell’s mayoralty and now in the Guildhall Art Gallery (82). In 1863 Graves, the owner, suggested NPG 934 may have been painted by the elder [Thomas Frank] Heaphy or by Miller. [1] The size suggests the copy may have been made preparatory for an engraved plate.

Footnotesback to top

1) Letter to Scharf, 26 May 1863 (NPG archive). Graves owned another portrait of Boydell by Miller.

Referenceback to top

Roberts 1907
W. Roberts, Sir William Beechey RA, 1907, p 105 (as by Beechey).

Physical descriptionback to top

Grey eyes, white powdered wig, wearing a red velvet suit with gold buttons and silver waistcoat, beneath his mayoral robes: dark gown with gold trim, ornate gold collar, black shoes with brass buckles; a red-upholstered chair and red drape to the right; on the table covered by a Turkey rug, the mace and ceremonial sword, two books one lettered SHAK/SPEAR; in the left background statue of Justice.

Provenanceback to top

Henry Graves1 by May 1863;2 bequeathed by him 1892.

1 He had acquired Boydell’s business at 90 Cheapside from Hurst & Robinson in 1825; NPG 934 may have been part of the furnishings.
2 When the portrait was first offered to the NPG; it was then sketched by Scharf (Sir George Scharf's Trustees' Sketch Books, 8/8) who noted that it was ‘blotchily but clearly painted’.

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