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William Combe

William Combe, by George Dance, 1793 -NPG 2029 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

William Combe

by George Dance
1793
11 3/4 in. x 8 7/8 in. (298 mm x 225 mm)
NPG 2029

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed: Decr 7th 1793/Geo: Dance.

This portraitback to top

The drawing is among a large series of profile portraits of Dance's friends done at that period of Combe's literary career marked by the production of political pamphlets and satires for which he was awarded a pension by Pitt. Farington called at Dance's house on the day the drawing was made bringing his own outlines for the illustrations to An History of the Thames for which Combe was writing the text; 'Shakespeare' Stevens was there too and 'Dance made very like drawings of them' (Diary, 7 December 1793).

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length seated in profile to left.

Provenanceback to top

Dance family and sold by the Rev George Dance, the artist's grandson, Christie's, 1 July 1898 (38) among a large collection of Dance drawings; later acquired by John Lane (Bodley Head) and given by him 1924.

Reproductionsback to top

Soft-ground etching (in reverse as 'William Coombe [sic] Author of Dr Syntax') by William Daniell among the additional prints not included in the two volumes of A Collection of Seventy-two Portraits of Eminent Characters, 1808-14.


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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