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John Carr

John Carr, by Sir William Beechey, after 1790 -NPG 4062 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

John Carr

by Sir William Beechey
after 1790
50 in. x 39 5/8 in. (1270 mm x 1005 mm)
NPG 4062

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed verso: John Carr/of Askham Richard/co York Esquire/3 times Lord Mayor/of York/by/Sir Wm Beechey

This portraitback to top

The date 1791 painted on the plan of the Buxton Crescent is probably the date of the portrait (the Crescent having been built in 1779-84). The distant church spire is that of St Peter’s, Horbury, Yorks., which Carr had built in his native village at his own expense between 1790 and 1794 and where he was buried; it does not appear in the engraving by Hodges and was probably therefore an early addition. [1] Ribeiro has observed that although Carr’s dress is fashionable, he is wearing a very old-fashioned wig. [2]
A half-length version in York Mansion House, wearing the mayoral chains of office, was presented to the Corporation by the sitter in 1803; [3] a reduced version is in the Cooper Gallery, Barnsley, and a recent copy by Andrew Festing is in Fairfax House (York Civic Trust).

Footnotesback to top

1) See B. Wragg, ed. G. Worsley, John Carr of York, 2001, pp 158-60; although not complete until 1794, the elevation was engraved by T. Malton in 1791 (illus. B. Wragg, ed. G. Worsley, John Carr of York, 2001, p 83).
2) A. Ribeiro, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, pp 141-42.
3) Illus. J. Ingamells, 'Portraits of John Carr', York City Art Gallery, Preview, XXIV, 1971, pp 843-44; B. Wragg, ed. G. Worsley, John Carr of York, 2001, p 27.

Referenceback to top

Carr 1971
J. Ingamells, ‘Portraits of John Carr’, York City Art Gallery, Preview, XXIV, 1971, pp 843-44.

Roberts 1907
W. Roberts, Sir William Beechey RA, 1907, pp 199-200.

Wragg 2001
B. Wragg, ed. G. Worsley, John Carr of York, 2001, p 82.

Physical descriptionback to top

Pale blue-grey eyes, powdered bag wig, wearing a deep blue-grey coat with gold buttons, a yellow waistcoat with orange and green stripes and silver buttons, white neckcloth; and light nankeen breeches; a red leather chair and curtain. On the table an elevation of the crescent at Buxton and a plan inscribed ... vation of the Crescent at Buxton 1791; in the distance the church at Horbury and autumnal trees.

Provenanceback to top

By descent to Col. R. G. Parker of Browsholme Hall, Yorks.;1 his sale, Christie’s, 9 May 1958, lot 20, bought Leggatt for the NPG.

1 In 1845 Mary Anne Carr, the heiress of the Carr property, married Thomas G. Parker of Browsholme Hall (H. Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1995, p 218n).

Exhibitionsback to top

Jubilee Exhibition, Bradford, 1930; Kendal 1962-78; Beningbrough 1979-.

Reproductionsback to top

C. H. Hodges 1793.


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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