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Benjamin Robert Haydon

Benjamin Robert Haydon, by Benjamin Robert Haydon, circa 1845 -NPG 268 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Benjamin Robert Haydon

by Benjamin Robert Haydon
circa 1845
9 in. x 6 7/8 in. (229 mm x 175 mm)
NPG 268

Inscriptionback to top

Signed in ink on verso: B.R. Haydon.
A label written in ink: Haydon artist ipse from the late Mr French's collection Windsor was formerly stuck to the back and transferred to registered packet in 1868.

This portraitback to top

The portrait was offered to the NPG in April 1863 by H. L. Nightingale and declined (sketch in Sir George Scharf’s Trustees Sketchbooks, VIII, 2); an ink profile drawing of the head only (with a more domed skull and pronounced chin), inscribed: B R Haydon 1846 – Edinburgh, was offered in May 1863 (Sir George Scharf’s Trustees Sketchbooks, VIII, 6). It does not appear in the Diary but his age is about 60. Lawrence Gowing, British Self Portraits catalogue, 1962, describes it as 'curiously pinched and shrunk in contrast to earlier portraits by himself and other artists, which tend to considerable flamboyance; painted probably late in his career'. Haydon hated portraits and perhaps this one not the least: 'In portrait I lose that divine feeling of inspiration … I feel as a common man; think as a common man; execute as the very commonest' (Diary, 6 October 1824).

Physical descriptionback to top

Head and shoulders profile to left in spectacles, brown fur-trimmed coat, white collar and shirt, black neckcloth; grey hair, brown eyes, fair complexion with pink cheeks; plain grey background.

Provenanceback to top

H. L. Nightingale; Mr French, a choirman at St George's Chapel, Windsor; H. Fawcett and bought from him 1868.

Exhibitionsback to top

'British Self Portraits', Arts Council, 1962 (72); 'Wordsworth Bicentenary', Kendall and Southampton, 1970 (82).

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 Benjamin Robert Haydon