Probably John Cartwright

Probably John Cartwright, by Henry Fuseli, circa 1779 -NPG 4538 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Probably John Cartwright

by Henry Fuseli
circa 1779
12 3/4 in. x 19 3/4 in. (324 mm x 502 mm)
NPG 4538

Inscriptionback to top

A box in front inscribed: his I. C. box, and below in another hand: John Cartwright.

This portraitback to top

On the basis of the inscriptions the drawing was originally identified as a portrait by Fuseli of his friend John Cartwright, a minor painter. The words John Cartwright are however not in Fuseli's hand and seem to be a later addition. Before it was sold at Sotheby's in March 1967 Peter Powell and David Piper identified it as a self-portrait by Fuseli on comparison with other known portraits and self-portraits including the two in the V & A Museum.
When Fuseli returned from Rome in 1779 he shared John Cartwright's house at 100 St Martin's Lane and it seems probable that he drew the portrait there and gave it to Cartwright. This would explain the presence of Fuseli's host's initials on the box.
The drawing is a fine example of Fuseli's graphic work and with the self-portrait of James Jefferys (NPG 4669) a valuable addition to the Gallery's collection of drawings and portraits of the Romantic period.

Provenanceback to top

Possibly John Cartwright; Sotheby's 15 March 1967 (3) bought R. M. Light and from him by the NPG with the aid of a grant of £1000 from the NACF (including £100 bequeathed by John Steegman).

Exhibitionsback to top

'British Romantic Painting', Paris, 1972 (117); 'Henry Fuseli 1741-1825', Hamburg, Tate Gallery, and Paris, 1974-5 (2).

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 Henry Fuseli