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William Godwin

William Godwin, by James Northcote, 1802 -NPG 1236 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

William Godwin

by James Northcote
29 1/2 in. x 24 1/2 in. (749 mm x 622 mm)
NPG 1236

Inscriptionback to top

Signed and dated lower right: James Northcote pinx./1802 and repeated on back of stretcher.

This portraitback to top

Godwin's diary records sittings to Northcote 10 July 1801 and 12 May 1802. James Northcote's list of paintings lists it under the year 1802, 'A head of Godwin/paid for on March 15th Ten pounds'. Dawe worked on his mezzotint during the summer of 1802 and thereafter the portrait probably hung in Godwin's house in Gower Place until it was inherited by his son-in-law Sir Percy Shelley.

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length to right in black coat with brown collar, cream shirt; grey hair, light brown eyes, fresh complexion; black background.

Provenanceback to top

Sir Percy Shelley and bequeathed by his widow Lady Jane Shelley 1899.

Exhibitionsback to top

RA, 1803 (86); Third Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1868 (299) lent by Sir Percy Shelley; 'Byron', V&A Museum 1974 (K13). Loan to Dove Cottage, Grasmere, since 1979.

Reproductionsback to top

Mezzotint by George Dawe 4 October 1802 and re-issued 1836 (John Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotint Portraits, I).

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.

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View all known portraits for James Northcote


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