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Thomas Denman, 1st Baron Denman

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Thomas Denman, 1st Baron Denman

by John James Halls
exhibited 1819
30 in. x 25 in. (762 mm x 635 mm)
NPG 372

This portraitback to top

According to Herman Merivale CB, who died the year after giving the portrait to the NPG, 'it is as the present Lord remarks to me rather "stern and gloomy". I should say somewhat wooden. But it is a very good likeness notwithstanding. The artist was a personal friend both of Lord Denman and of my father, who were very intimate with each other in early life. It comes to me by the recent death of my mother at a very advanced age' (letter from Herman Merivale in NPG archive).
J. J. Halls (named after Jean-Jacques Rousseau) had a successful portrait practice in the wake of Lawrence and Owen, and the previous year had exhibited a portrait of John Herman Merivale, the donor's father. He had also painted Denman's cousin Sir Richard Croft c.1810, now at Croft Castle, and exhibited a drawing of the Lord Chief Justice’s father, Dr Denman, RA 1812 (782).

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length seated to left in a dark blue coat with brass buttons, buff waistcoat, white collar and shirt-frill; dark brown hair, grey eyes, fresh complexion; crimson curtain background.

Provenanceback to top

John Herman Merivale and given by his son Herman Merivale 1873.

Exhibitionsback to top

RA 1819 (454).

Reproductionsback to top

Stipple by C. Turner published 3 October 1820 as Her Majesty's Solicitor-General, and a small stipple by W. T. Fry published Boys 1821.


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.

View all known portraits for Thomas Denman, 1st Baron Denman