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John Crome

2 of 4 portraits of John Crome

Regency Portraits Catalogue

John Crome

by Denis Brownell Murphy
exhibited 1821
8 5/8 in. x 7 1/4 in. (219 mm x 184 mm)
NPG 2061

This portraitback to top

Murphy's drawing shows Crome in the last year of his life and probably in the last few months. He died suddenly in April 1821 aged 53. A companion drawing of his daughter Hannah (now in Norwich Castle Museum), acquired by Dr Colvin Smith at the same time and shown to the NPG Trustees for comparison, was inscribed in ink on the backboard: This Portrait was finished on Febr 12th 1821. Painted by Mr D. B. Murphy/Hannah Crome/St Georges St Norwich/Febr 12th 1821. Sievier's lithograph of this portrait was published together with the set of Crome's etchings in 1821, and a smaller lithograph, said to be from another version of Murphy's drawing in the Norwich Castle Museum, was used as frontispiece to the 1834 edition of the etchings. A watercolour copy by J. W. Higham, also 1821, and formerly in the J. P. Heseltine collection, is in the Norwich Castle Museum (111). An oil version on wood panel and formerly in Colonel M. H. Grant's collection, was sold Sotheby's 21 December 1955 (126) said to have been signed and dated: D. B. Murphy 1816; see Colonel Grant's Dictionary of English Landscape Painters, II, p 196 (reproduced).

Physical descriptionback to top

Head and shoulders in black coat, white bow-tie; dark eyes, dark eyebrows, scanty black hair, ruddy complexion.

Provenanceback to top

Dr Colvin Smith of Norwich and bought from him in 1924.

Exhibitionsback to top

Norwich Society of Artists' seventeenth exhibition 1821 (150) and eighteenth exhibition 1822 (153).

Reproductionsback to top

Lithograph vignette by Sievier published J. & W. Freeman, Norwich, October 1821 and dedicated to the Norwich Society of Artists by Crome's son, John Berney Crome; a smaller version, possibly made from a similar watercolour drawing in the Norwich Castle Museum, also engraved by Sievier, was used as frontispiece to the set of Crome etchings published in 1934.


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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