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Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt)

Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt), by Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt), circa 1773 -NPG 3626 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt)

by Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt)
circa 1773
29 in. x 24 in. (737 mm x 610 mm)
NPG 3626

Inscriptionback to top

The verso of the original canvas bears an early inscription: Portrait of/Nathl Dance R.A./afterwards/Sir Nathl. Holland Bart./Painted/by himself.

This portraitback to top

NPG 3626 was dated c.1773 by Goodreau on stylistic grounds. [1] Dorothy Stroud had previously associated it with the self portrait requested by the Dilettanti of Society in 1777; [2] Dance had been elected to the Society that year and in May it was agreed that he should be allowed ‘to present the Society with his own Picture painted by Himself, Sir J. Reynolds Painter to the Society having waved His right to paint the same’, but the portrait had not been delivered when Dance resigned in 1784. [3]

Footnotesback to top

1) D. Goodreau, Nathaniel Dance, exhibition catalogue, Kenwood, 1977, no.35.
2) George Dance, 1971, p 93, pl.22, and see George Dance, Geffrye Museum, 1972, no.7.
3) L. Cust, History of the Dilettanti Society, 1898, p 224.

Physical descriptionback to top

Brown eyes, grey hair, wearing a white neckcloth, green waistcoat and a deep red coat with brown fur collar.

Provenanceback to top

By descent to Miss Mary Sibyll Dance (great granddaughter of the sitter’s brother, George Dance jr.), by whom bequeathed 1948.

Exhibitionsback to top

Angelika Kauffman und ihr Zeitgenossen, Dusseldorf, Munich, Chur, 1968 (3626); George Dance, Geffrye Museum, 1972 (7); Nathaniel Dance, Kenwood, 1977 (35).


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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