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David Garrick

1 portrait matching these criteria:

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

David Garrick

studio of Johan Joseph Zoffany
1763
29 5/8 in. x 24 7/8 in. (752 mm x 632 mm)
NPG 1167

Inscriptionback to top

The original canvas inscribed verso: Mary Bradshaw eleven times, with the date December the 31st: 1763.

This portraitback to top

The profile, inevitably, resembles the head of Garrick painted by Zoffany in 1762 in Mr and Mrs Garrick taking tea at Hampton. NPG 1167 is a version of the portrait in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (A1219), from the collection of Thomas Harris, manager of the Covent Garden Theatre, [1] at whose sale, Christie’s, 12 July 1819, lot 55, it was said to have been painted for George Colman the elder, the circumstances of the portrait being described as follows:

'to avoid the different changes in countenance, with which Garrick used to amuse himself while sitting for this portrait, Zoffany took this likeness concealed in an antechamber, during the times of Garrick’s shaving his head, his constant custom in the afternoon.'
The portrait was engraved by J. S. Müller [J. Miller] in 1769, [2] and a copy in miniature by Anne Louisa Lane (formerly in the collection of Sir Laurence Olivier) was engraved by James Heath in 1819; [3] an anonymous lithograph was published in 1824. [4]
Garrick had departed for the Continent in September 1763 and was abroad when, according to the inscription cited above, NPG 1167 was given to Mrs Bradshaw. It was once attributed to the Irish engraver and miniaturist Luke Sullivan. [5] A version showing a red silk drape round Garrick’s shoulders is in an American private collection; another with darkish hair added is in the Maugham collection in the National Theatre, [6] resembling an engraving by Miller of 1790. Another profile of Garrick with his wig by Zoffany was engraved by John Hall, [7] who also exhibited a ‘print of Mr Garrick’, Society of Artists, London, 1763 (168).
Garrick became an enthusiastic patron of Zoffany, whom he discovered in 1762 working as an assistant to Benjamin Wilson, see NPG 6249. In August that year Garrick declared he would do Wilson’s ‘German friend all ye good offices in my Power; he was warmly recommended to me by my Acquaintance, is a Man of merit, & well behaved in my family’, and, he added, ‘providence has blessed him with Genius.’ [8]

Footnotesback to top

1) Illus. The Ashmolean, 37, 1999, p 10; R. Mander & J. Mitchenson, The Artist and the Theatre, the story of the paintings collected and presented to the National Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham, 1955, p 69 when in the collection of Mrs J. C. Conway.
2) Once erroneously identified as a plate to Smollett’s 1757 History of England (cf. M. Davies, National Gallery Catalogues, The British School, 1946), but see R. Mander & J. Mitchenson, The Artist and the Theatre, the story of the paintings collected and presented to the National Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham, 1955, pp 65-66.
3) Both illus. R. Mander & J. Mitchenson, The Artist and the Theatre, the story of the paintings collected and presented to the National Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham, 1955, pp 70, 72.
4) The 1819 sale description was reprinted below the lithograph; the painting then belonged to George McKenny (R. Mander & J. Mitchenson, The Artist and the Theatre, the story of the paintings collected and presented to the National Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham, 1955, p 67).
5) Cf. Connoisseur, LXXXV, 1930, p 217. Presumably because Sullivan was said to have painted his wife, see Mrs Garrick.
6) R. Mander & J. Mitchenson et al., Guide to the Maugham Collection of Theatrical Paintings, 1980, no.10.
7) Illus. R. Mander & J. Mitchenson, The Artist and the Theatre, the story of the paintings collected and presented to the National Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham, 1955, pp 70, 71.
8) D. M. Little & G. M. Kahrl, The Letters of David Garrick, 1963, I, no.292.

Referenceback to top

Davies 1946
M. Davies, National Gallery Catalogues, The British School, 1946, p 13, no.1197, as British School.

Mander & Mitchenson 1955
R. Mander & J. Mitchenson, The Artist and the Theatre, the story of the paintings collected and presented to the National Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham, 1955, pp 65-72, 189.

Physical descriptionback to top

Dark brown eyes, a wisp of black hair below the ear, purple cloak; beneath the portrait, emblems of Garrick’s diverse roles: rosemary and laurel, Pan pipes, flute and sword, masks of comedy and tragedy, the latter with a red ribbon.

Provenanceback to top

Given by the sitter to Mrs Mary Bradshaw 1763;1 Mrs David Garrick, who bequeathed to her husband’s nephew, Nathan Egerton Garrick, ‘the Portrait of my late Husband without a wig, by Zoffany, which I bought after his death of Mrs Bradshaw, to whom it had been given as a present’;2 his son, Nathan David Garrick, by whose widow bequeathed to the National Gallery 1885 (no.1197); lent to the NPG 1900; ownership transferred to the Tate Gallery 1954 and to the NPG 1957.

1 The date assumed from the inscriptions on the original canvas.
2 As quoted by R. Mander & J. Mitchenson, The Artist and the Theatre, the story of the paintings collected and presented to the National Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham, 1955, p 65. Zoffany had already painted Mary Bradshaw on stage with Garrick in 1762.

Exhibitionsback to top

Beningbrough 1979-.


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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