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Edward Gibson

1 portrait matching these criteria:

- subject matching 'Self-portraits'

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Edward Gibson

by Edward Gibson
1690
10 5/8 in. x 7 5/8 in. (270 mm x 194 mm)
NPG 1880

Inscriptionback to top

Signed, lower right: E Gibson/Fct 1690.1

1 In 1866 Scharf read it as 1690, as Vertue may have done. Piper hesitated between 1690 and 1696.

This portraitback to top

The informal dress and the pose strongly suggest a self portrait, but the identification cannot be proved. Vertue mentioned self portraits by Gibson at the painter Thomas Gibson’s house c.1714-16 (‘Edward Gibson painter nephew [sic] to Will. Gibson. Limner, drew in crayons very well his own picture in crayons, one dres’d as a chinese another like a Quaker with a hat on’ [1]) and at Lord Stafford’s ‘His picture in Crayons. f. 1690’. [2] This last was possibly NPG 1880.

Footnotesback to top

1) G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XVIII, 1930, p 31. The hat seen in NPG 1880, for all the hint of the orient, is probably a painting cap, as seen in self-portraits by Dahl and Kneller, for example.
2) G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XXVI, 1938, p 27, c.1743, at Stafford House (Tart Hall), where the Lords Stafford had resided.

Referenceback to top

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 137.

Provenanceback to top

[2nd and 3rd Earls of Stafford, sold from Stafford House c.1743] Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) and Thomas Thane (1782-1846);1 Christie’s, 26 March 1866, lot 229 as ‘the property of a gentleman received from Paris’;2 Gen. Sir Edward Earle Gascoyne Bulwer (1829-1910), his sale, East Dereham, 1911,3 bought Francis Wellesley; his sale, Sotheby’s, 3rd day, 30 June 1920, lot 382,4 bought in; bought Leggatt for the NPG, with a donation from the vendor 1920.

1 Not identified in Lawrence or Thane sales (L 12380, 12414, 12662, or L 18215, 18235, 18241) [lot 12, under sketches in oil by the late Sir Thomas Lawrence, in the Lawrence sale, Christie’s, 5 July 1834, was ‘Portrait of a gentleman in coloured chalks’] but possibly Thane sale (L 18235), Sotheby’s, 16 June 1846, lot 5 ‘Portraits of painters and engravers/Others, under letters G to M’, or 18 June, lot 544 ‘Studies of Heads in chalk …’.
2 Sir George Scharf’s Trustees’ Sketch Books, 10:30.
3 See note 4.
4 In a letter addressed to Milner, from Westfield Common, near Woking, 29 May 1920 (NPG archive), Francis Wellesley wrote:

'The Sale of my Collection is a tragedy - as you have always taken such a kindly interest in it I will relate the facts. I was very unwell all last winter & when an offer of £55000 reached me I yielded - it was for the Collection ‘all or none’. The agent was Mrs Lewis Hind, whose husband I daresay you know, & I was led to believe that the buyer was an American amateur. There was a long delay in making the first payment of £20000 &, finally, it came out that the buyer was a Syndicate & a death of a member had held up this payment. In disgust, I refused to proceed any further & as my house & the Bath Gallery were blocked with huge cases I sent the whole to Sothebys. Moreover, I had committed myself as regards the greater part of the purchase money. The Sale is a nightmare to me & I wanted to suppress my name but the Auctioneers would not hear of it. Now as regards the Gibson, I would most certainly like you to have it. I bought it at the Sale of General Bulwer’s collection at East Dereham in 1911 for £10. The best plan that I can think of is for you to buy it in the Sale & I believe that it may go for as much as £50. I am going to flee from England whilst the Sale is on & be away from even the echo of it. So I want you, on behalf of the Gallery, to accept this cheque for £50 to buy it - if you fail (which is scarcely possible) to get it will you please use the cheque for some other drawing or miniature which will be acceptable to the Gallery. I leave the choice to you. The NPG paid Leggatt £33.10s for the drawing.'

Exhibitionsback to top

Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, 1918–20; British Self Portraits, Arts Council, 1962, no.14; Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, Tulsa, Miami, Washington DC, Ottawa, NPG, Manchester, Carlisle, Canterbury, 1993–95, no.10.


This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685–1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, 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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