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John Keats

2 of 15 portraits of John Keats

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

John Keats

by Benjamin Robert Haydon
1816
12 1/2 in. x 8 in. (318 mm x 203 mm)
NPG 3251

Inscriptionback to top

Signed and dated: Nov 1816/BRH and inscribed in Haydon's hand, with several erasures: Keats was a spirit that in passing over the Earth came within its attraction and expired in fruitless struggles to make its dull inhabitants comprehend the beauty of his soarings—; it is numbered top left 48a.

This portraitback to top

The drawing is on the back of a page from November 1816 (numbered 12) of Haydon's Diary about overcrowding at the Royal Academy. It was one of two pages torn out by Haydon's son, Frederick Wordsworth Haydon, and acquired from him by Harry Buxton Forman, the editor of Keats's and Shelley's Works. A small profile of Keats is between two pillars on the other page. Haydon used Keats's head, together with those of Newton, Voltaire and Wordsworth, among the crowd of spectators in 'Christ's Entry into Jerusalem', now in St Gregory's Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio (Diary of B. R. Haydon, ed. Willard Pope, II, p 73).

Provenanceback to top

B. R. Haydon; Frederick Wordsworth Haydon; Henry Buxton Forman and bought from his son 1945.

Exhibitionsback to top

'La peinture romantique anglaise', Paris, 1972 (136).

Reproductionsback to top

A. Dawson photo-facsimile.


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

View all known portraits for John Keats