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William Dodd

1 of 102 portraits by John Russell

William Dodd, by John Russell, 1769 -NPG 251 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

William Dodd

by John Russell
1769
48 in. x 38 1/4 in. (1219 mm x 972 mm)
NPG 251

Inscriptionback to top

Signed, bottom left: JR[monogram]ussell Pinxt/1769; inscribed verso: Revd W. DODD.LL.D./Preacher at the Magdalen,/1774./From whence this Picture bt. 1867.

This portraitback to top

On 22 July 1768 Russell wrote: ‘Set off for Wilton to dine with the famous Dr Dodd, as he is to sit for his picture’; he afterwards stayed with Dodd at Whitton, near Twickenham, and on 16 January 1769 Dodd was sitting for his portrait. [1] Both the books and the plan displayed in NPG 251 were topical: Dodd’s Charlotte Chapel had just opened in Pimlico, while Dodd’s Bible refers to his Commentary published in three volumes in 1770, having been issued in numbers from 1765. The 5th Lord Chesterfield, Dodd’s eventual victim, also sat to Russell in 1769 (Ranger’s House, Blackheath). [2]

Footnotesback to top

1) G. C. Williamson, John Russell, 1894, pp 22-23.
2) Ibid. See the 4th Lord Chesterfield’s Letters, ed. B. Dobrée, VI, 1932, no.2557.

Referenceback to top

Williamson 1894
G. C. Williamson, John Russell, 1894, pp 23, 155.

Physical descriptionback to top

Brown eyes, powdered wig, wearing black clerical dress; his right hand rests on [D]ODD’S/BIBLE, two volumes of which are displayed; a silver quill stand on an architectural plan inscribed A PLAN of Charlotte Street Chapel.

Provenanceback to top

Bought from Horace Rodd c.1857 by Mrs A. George,1 from whom purchased 1867.

1 Who told Scharf (letter 13 December 1867; NPG archive) she had bought the portrait ‘of Mr Horace Rodd about ten years since’. NPG 251 was described in the 1867 Second special exhibition of National Portraits (William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington, cat. as having been brought from the Magdalen in 1774; G. C. Williamson, John Russell, 1894, p 23, gave the previous provenance as the Magdalen Chapel, the Charlotte Street Chapel in 1774, Rev H. S. Cotton, ordinary of Newgate (Scharf remembered seeing the portrait at 1 Newgate Street). H. F. B. Compston, Magdalen Hospital, 1917, p 137, stated there was no record of Russell’s portrait having been at the Magdalen.

Exhibitionsback to top

Second special exhibition of National Portraits (William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington, 1867 (821 lent Mrs George); Georgian Essex, Dagenham, 1958 (311).


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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