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Probably Cornelis Rudolphus Theodorus Krayenhoff, formerly known as Tiberius Cavallo

3 of 822 portraits matching these criteria:

- subject matching 'Science, appliance and technology'

Probably Cornelis Rudolphus Theodorus Krayenhoff, formerly known as Tiberius Cavallo, by Unknown artist, circa 1790 -NPG 1412 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Probably Cornelis Rudolphus Theodorus Krayenhoff, formerly known as Tiberius Cavallo

by Unknown artist
circa 1790
23 1/4 in. x 19 1/4 in. (591 mm x 489 mm)
NPG 1412

This portraitback to top

There remains an element of doubt concerning the identity. NPG 1412 was first offered in March 1905 as a portrait of Humphry Davy (for whom see R. J. B. Walker, National Portrait Gallery, Regency Portraits) but two months later the owner was calling him Cavallo. [1] Costume suggests a date in the 1780s and the combination of scientific and artistic attributes [2] make the identification plausible. The likeness agrees with the Trotter engraving of 1787, but the Dance drawing and the Lind silhouette suggest heavier features.

Footnotesback to top

1) ‘I have gone into the question very carefully as to the portrait being that of Sir Humphrey Davy. As a scientific chemist, myself, I may say ...’ (28 March 1905), but by 27 May Mr Gabb was writing to say how important a figure Cavallo was in the evolution of electro-therapeutics (NPG archive).
2) For Cavallo as silhouettist, see S. McKechnie, British Silhouette Artists and their Work 1760-1860, 1978, pp 194-95, 382, and Apollo, XXII, 1935, pp 287-89.

Physical descriptionback to top

Brown eyes, white hair, white neckcloth and ruff, brown coat with silver buttons, cream waistcoat, dark blue breeches, white stockings and black shoes with silver buckles; an easel and a palette lying on a chair; prominent on the table stands a twin-plate electrical machine of the later 1770s.1

1 It may be compared with Cuthbertson’s uninsulated twin-plate machine illus. W. D. Hackmann, John & Jonathan Cuthbertson, 1973, p 61, and first illus. in Cuthbertson, Algemeene-Eigenschappen van de electriciteit, 1782, II.

Provenanceback to top

Purchased from George H. Gabb1 1905.

1 In March 1935 Gabb said he had bought it at Christie’s in 1904 as Sir Humphrey Davy (note in NPG archive) - but such a purchase is now unidentifiable.

Exhibitionsback to top

Faces as Art, NPG, 1976; The Room in View, NPG, 1996-98.


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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