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Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey

by Thomas Phillips
1818
36 in. x 30 3/8 in. (914 mm x 772 mm)
NPG 86

Inscriptionback to top

Signed with monogram TP lower left.

This portraitback to top

The portrait is first recorded in Phillips's Sitter Book, 6 April 1818 and appeared at the RA 1818. In 1859 the Gallery was offered by John Murray a so-called self-portrait of Chantrey which his widow declined to authenticate. 'I have in my possession' she wrote 'the only one Sir Francis Chantry ever painted of himself and which he left unfinished'. She then entrusted to George Jones, Chantrey's friend and biographer, the offer of another. 'Rather than an inferior portrait of my husband should be hung up in the National Gallery of Portraits I will give the Council the portrait painted by the late Thomas Phillips R.A. which is now in my possession'. The message was passed to the NPG by Jones who wrote: 'I know the picture to which her Ladyship alludes; it is a fine one (half length) and will do honor to the Gallery, the painter and the sculptor' (letters dated July and August 1858 in NPG archive).

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length aged 37, holding a modelling tool, his left arm on a marble head; bald head with dark hair at sides, hazel eyes, dark complexion; voluminous grey coat, white filled shirt open at neck and fastened with brooch; statuette of Lady Louisa Russell in left background.

Provenanceback to top

The sculptor's widow and given by her in 1859.

Exhibitionsback to top

RA 1818 (21); British Institution 1846 (2); 'Festival of Britain Art Exhibition', Sheffield, 1951 (6); 'Sir Francis Chantrey', NPG, 1981 (31).


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.

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