2 of 11 portraits of James Henry Leigh Hunt
- Extended catalogue entry
Regency Portraits Catalogue
by Thomas Charles Wageman
8 1/4 in. x 6 1/2 in. (210 mm x 165 mm)
Inscriptionback to top
Signed: Leigh Hunt.
A torn paper removed from the backboard and inscribed in ink: Alfred & I calculated that this portrait of Leigh Hunt was taken by Wageman, at the request of our father, Vincent Novello, somewhere about the … [the year 1815] … the year that L. H. left … [Horsemonger Lane Jail] … oria C. C. [Mary Victoria Cowden Clarke] 1868/Photographed in Genoa, March 1868/M.C.C./ and in pencil: given to Valeria April 98.
This portraitback to top
The drawing has always been in the Novello family collection. It is mentioned in an inventory of pictures in the Cowden Clarke 'snuggery' at Craven Hill, made by Mary Victoria (Novello) Clarke (see Richard Altick, The Cowden Clarkes, 1948, p 85 and reproduced p 51). Leigh Hunt's great-great-great-grandson Richard Russell believed it to overstress the length of the nose but to be otherwise sympathetic and 'the only portrait to which that by Margaret Gillies can be said to bear any resemblance' (Richard Russell, 'The Portraiture of Leigh Hunt' in Keats-Shelley Memorial Bulletin, X, 1959, p 8).
Provenanceback to top
Vincent Novello and his descendants, Conte Donatello Gigliucci and his sisters Contessa Bona Gigliucci and Dona Nerina Medici di Merignano, bequest 1966. On loan to Dove Cottage from 1979.
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 James Henry Leigh Hunt