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George Canning

George Canning, by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1825 -NPG 1832 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

George Canning

by Sir Thomas Lawrence
93 3/4 in. x 58 in. (2381 mm x 1473 mm)
NPG 1832

This portraitback to top

Lawrence's second portrait was commissioned by Sir Robert Peel for his gallery at Drayton Manor and according to an article in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1847/I, p 291 painted in 1825; it was certainly exhibited RA 1826 when Tom Moore in his Diary for 11 May quoted a criticism that it 'is like an actor standing before a glass rehearsing a part'. Lawrence himself had a different view, also quoted by Moore: 'took C. Greville to see Lawrence's pictures. Said in looking at the portrait of Canning (for Peel), that he could imagine him speaking those very words in his great Portuguese speech: "Here I plant my standard and where the standard of Britain is planted no oppressor can ever come!" These are the words (said Lawrence) which I had in my mind in painting him' (Diary, 21 September 1829).

Physical descriptionback to top

Whole-length standing in front of the Treasury Bench in the House of Commons, right arm raised, mace to right; light brown eyes, grey hair, fresh complexion; dark brown coat with black velvet collar, grey trousers; green upholstery on Front Bench, green table-cloth, brown carpet.

Provenanceback to top

Sir Robert Peel, Drayton Manor; sold Robinson & Fisher (Peel Heirlooms) 29 November 1917 (61); Earl of Harewood, Harewood House; given by the 6th Earl of Harewood, then Viscount Lascelles, in 1919.

Exhibitionsback to top

RA, 1826 (109); British Institution, 1830 (56); 'Peel Heirlooms,' Graves Gallery, 1908 (8).

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 Thomas Lawrence


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