The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Sir Rowland Hill

Sir Rowland Hill, by John Alfred Vinter; Maull & Polyblank, circa 1879, based on a work published in April 1857 -NPG 838 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Rowland Hill

by John Alfred Vinter, after Maull & Polyblank
circa 1879, based on a work published in April 1857
49 3/4 in. x 40 in. (1264 mm x 1016 mm)
NPG 838

Inscriptionback to top

Signed (bottom right): J. A. VINTER
Inscribed on the back of the canvas, in the artist's hand: Portrait of/Sir Rowland Hill, KCB, LLD, FRS./(Originator of the Penny Postage)/born at Kidderminster/1795/buried in Westminster/Abbey/1879/painted by J. A. Vinter/29 Monmouth Road/Bayswater. W.

This portraitback to top

This posthumous portrait is identical in pose and composition to the lithograph by Vinter, after a photograph by Maull and Fox, published Vinter, 1879 (example in NPG). In a letter of 13 June 1890 (NPG archives), the donor wrote of the portrait that it 'is not only by far the best of any yet produced, but is an extremely good likeness'. There are also two letters from the artist (9 and 17 June 1890, NPG archives). The letter on the left of the picture is inscribed 'Sir Rowland Hill', and the date on the calendar is 24 May.

Physical descriptionback to top

Healthy complexion, brown eyes, grey hair and whiskers. Dressed in a white shirt, black neck-tie, and a black suit. Holding a pair of brown gloves in one hand, and grasping an umbrella in the other. Brown desk on left, with a letter rack and letters with penny black and twopenny red stamps, a white quill pen and a stick of red sealing-wax. Background colour light brown on left, reddish-brown on right.

Provenanceback to top

Presented by the sitter's son, Pearson Hill, 1890.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Ormond, Early Victorian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1973, 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 Sir Rowland Hill

Play

Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs

Test your memory by playing our matching pairs game. Three levels of difficulty make it fun for the whole family.

Test your skill

Regency familiar faces

Rearrange tiles to uncover sitters from the Gallery's Collection by playing our puzzle game.

Play today

Who do you think you were?

Answer a few lifestyle questions about the Elizabethan period and discover your inner Elizabethan!

Start now