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William Markham

2 of 39 portraits by Benjamin West

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

William Markham

by Benjamin West
circa 1775
30 in. x 25 in. (762 mm x 635 mm)
NPG 4495

Inscriptionback to top

An old ink label on the stretcher: Wm. Markham/Archbishop of York/when Bishop of Chester/by Sir Benn West.

This portraitback to top

When headmaster of Westminster, Markham was among the first to welcome Benjamin West in England, introducing him to Burke and Johnson in 1763, and to a number of distinguished Bishops in 1765 (Newton of Bristol, Johnson of Worcester and Drummond of York). [1] Markham is not known to have acquired works from West, other than NPG 4495 which, according to the label cited above, was painted between 1771 and 1777 while he was Bishop of Chester; it evidently precedes the Reynolds of 1777.

Footnotesback to top

1) J. Galt, Life and Works of Benjamin West, 1820, II, pp 6-7, 9.

Referenceback to top

Erffa & Staley 1986
H. von Erffa & A. Staley, The Paintings of Benjamin West, 1986, no.655.

Ingamells 1981
J. Ingamells, The English Episcopal Portrait 1559-1835, 1981, p 287.

Physical descriptionback to top

Grey eyes, white wig, wearing Bishop’s rochet and chimere; a brown curtain on the right.

Provenanceback to top

By descent in the sitter’s family to P. G. Markham,1 from whom purchased, though Colnaghi, 1966.

1 C. Markham, Markham Memorials, 1913, II, p 49; letter from P. G. Markham, Waikato, New Zealand, 25 September 1966 (NPG archive).

Exhibitionsback to top

Leeds 1868 (3241) lent Col. W. T. Markham; Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1965, lent P. G. Markham.1

1 The picture was taken to new Zealand in 1938.


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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