The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

George Canning

George Canning, by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey, 1821 -NPG 282 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

George Canning

by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey
27 1/2 in. (699 mm) high
NPG 282

Inscriptionback to top

Incised on the back: CHANTREY, Sc 1821.

This portraitback to top

Chantrey's preliminary drawing is NPG 316a(10); this was developed into the plaster model in the Ashmolean Museum (533/21) with slight variations in the drapery, and then to the marble bust commissioned by Mr Bolton for Liverpool (Sir Francis Chantrey’s Ledger of Accounts, p 88), now in the Palace of Westminster, incised: Rt Hon. George Canning 1819; another version, also 1819, is in the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. Chantrey's second bust (now NPG 282) was commissioned by C. Ellis of 7 Connaught Place in 1820 and paid for 19 March 1822, £126 (Sir Francis Chantrey’s Ledger of Accounts, p 99). His third bust of Canning was commissioned by the Duke of Devonshire in 1827 and is now at Chatsworth; others are in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (1828), Harewood House (undated), and a posthumous copy with difference in the drapery is at Windsor Castle; a head only belonged in 1869 to the widow of Canning's private secretary, Backhouse.
Chantrey made statues of Canning for Westminster Abbey (commissioned 1829), for Liverpool 1829, for the Duke of Sutherland 1834 (completion of a statue previously rejected and presented to the City of Athens in 1930 by Mr and Mrs Charles Boot).
Medals from the bust were made by Bain exhibited RA 1823 (1039) and by Stothard RA 1826 (980).

Physical descriptionback to top

Head and shoulders in a toga, head turned slightly to his right.

Provenanceback to top

C. Ellis of Connaught Place; Lord Howard de Walden and bought by the NPG at his sale Christie's 17 March 1869 (270).

Reproductionsback to top

Lithograph dated 1818, profile to right in coat and neckcloth, and etching by Mrs Dawson Turner from a drawing by Chantrey himself 1821 (in reverse); line engraving by Worthington published by James Ridgway 1828; lithograph by R. J. Lane 1829 (R. J. Lane’s accounts and letters, mainly for lithographic drawings, I, 20).

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, 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 George Canning

View all known portraits for Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey


Our channel

View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.

Sit back and watch

Artist and sitter interviews

Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.

Explore behind the scenes

Sleeping Awake

Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.

Hear our story