The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

First Previous 1 OF 318 NextLast

Robert Dighton

1 of 318 portraits by Robert Dighton

Robert Dighton, by Robert Dighton, circa 1787 -NPG 2815 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Robert Dighton

by Robert Dighton
circa 1787
5 3/4 in. x 4 1/2 in. (146 mm x 114 mm)
NPG 2815

Inscriptionback to top

Signed R.D.

This portraitback to top

The portrait is an up-dating of an earlier drawing showing Dighton ten years younger and wearing a hat. In this the portfolio is lettered A New Book of Heads by R. DIGHTON, Painter & Drawing Master; it was etched and published by John Smith 10 May 1779. Dighton's Book of Heads was published by Bowles & Carver in 1795 with the later etching as frontispiece. Another self-portrait in ink and watercolour of about 1800, inscribed Myself, was at Sotheby's (Jeffrey Rose sale) 23 February 1978 (75). According to Adrian Bury, 'Unknown Drawings by Robert Dighton …', Connoisseur, CLXVI, December 1967, lots 8 and 10 in the same sale ('I'm the Thing, ain't I' and 'Hooly and Fairly') are also self-portraits of Dighton on the boards of Sadlers Wells Theatre.

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length profile to left holding a portfolio of drawings and a porte-crayon.

Provenanceback to top

Wilson collection; bought from M. H. Spielmann 1936 together with several other drawings.

Reproductionsback to top

Etching probably by himself published Carrington Bowles 9 November 1787 (and another undated by Bowles & Carver), identical to the drawing except for the portfolio which is lettered A BOOK of HEADS by ROBt DIGHTON Portrait Painter and Drawing Master.


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 Robert Dighton