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George Crabbe

1 of 6 portraits of George Crabbe

George Crabbe, by Henry William Pickersgill, circa 1818-1819 -NPG 1495 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

George Crabbe

by Henry William Pickersgill
circa 1818-1819
29 7/8 in. x 25 in. (759 mm x 635 mm)
NPG 1495

This portraitback to top

The portrait is the second of two by Pickersgill; the first probably of 1815 or earlier, with books, inkwell and curtain in the background, is known from an engraving for the New Monthly Magazine, IV, January 1816. The second version, NPG 1495, is probably slightly smaller and painted two or three years later though sittings are not mentioned in Crabbe's diary. It hung at Swefling Rectory, Saxmundham, and belonged to the Rev G. C. Rivett-Carnac 'who married the poet's great-granddaughter and afterwards his great-great-granddaughter'. According to W. Aldis Wright, Vice Master of Trinity and editor of Edward Fitzgerald's letters and literary remains, Fitzgerald thought it 'more characteristic than that by Phillips which Murray has' (letter 8 May 1907 in NPG archive). Crabbe himself recorded his surprise at finding the Phillips portrait exhibited at the RA instead of Pickersgill's which he expected to see there (letter 7 May 1819 to Troubridge in Life of George Crabbe by his Son, p 230).

Physical descriptionback to top

Head and shoulders seated to left in a red upholstered chair; black coat, white neckcloth and cravat; blue eyes, bristly white hair, fresh complexion; plain dark background.

Provenanceback to top

Descended in direct line through the family to Emily Crabbe who married the Rev George Rivett-Carnac and bought from him in 1908.

Exhibitionsback to top

Third Exhibition of National Portraits, 1868 (289) lent by the Rev George Crabbe.

Reproductionsback to top

Stipple by J. Thompson for The European Magazine, 1 October 1819 and reworked for the Ladies' Monthly Museum 1825.

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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