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Rowland Hill

7 of 102 portraits by John Russell

Rowland Hill, by John Russell, circa 1780 -NPG 1464 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Rowland Hill

by John Russell
circa 1780
12 1/4 in. x 9 3/4 in. (311 mm x 248 mm)
NPG 1464

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed, upper left: Revd R Hill.

This portraitback to top

Russell, a Methodist convert, first heard Rowland Hill preach in 1772, and his diary records visiting Mr (later Sir) Richard Hill at Hawkstone in August 1780. [1]
NPG 1464 would appear to be a preparatory study for the standing three-quarter length pastel of Hill, his right hand pointing at an open Bible, engraved by J. Collyer in 1783. [2] Derivative bust-length ovals were also engraved by I. Lovelace 1790 and I. Farn 1796.

Footnotesback to top

1) When he found the discussion of Wesley a little too much (G. C. Williamson, John Russell, 1894, pp 46, 51).
2) Russell’s portrait of a clergyman exhibited RA 1782 (370) drew the contemporary comment: ‘Sure this should be the resemblance of good Sir Rowland Hill?’ (W. T. Whitley, Artists and their Friends in England 1700-1799, 1928, II, p 394). Sir Rowland Hill, 1st Bt, who d. August 1783, was not a clergyman and spent his later years trying to moderate his sons’ enthusiasm.

Referenceback to top

Williamson 1894
G. C. Williamson, John Russell, 1894, pp 52, 151.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue eyes, grey hair, white neckcloth and black coat.

Provenanceback to top

Sir Edward Durning-Lawrence,1 by whom presented 1907.

1 In 1894 Williamson, (G. C. Williamson, John Russell, 1894), recounted that Edward Lawrence (created Bt. 1898, when he assumed the additional name of Durning) had bought a large portfolio of original Russell sketches at a sale ‘some time since’.

Exhibitionsback to top

Russell, Imperial Institute, South Kensington, 1894 (47) lent Lawrence.


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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