- Extended catalogue entry
Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue
by John Downman
8 7/8 in. x 7 3/8 in. (225 mm x 188 mm)
Inscriptionback to top
Inscribed on window frame (or column): J.D./1785; rectangular paper mount with oval window and border of grey wash approximately ¾ in. deep; the paper, once white, is apparently coeval with the drawing; No 1 inscribed in pencil on the mount, bottom right; a stencil SS6JT/Z/481 was on the back of the frame and a sale catalogue cutting, now removed, identified the portrait and a drawing of the sitter's wife as lot 64.
This portraitback to top
NPG 4590 is probably a very free derivative of the portrait by Nathaniel Dance. No direct source, however, has been traced and no other versions are known. Nor is Milles represented among the Downman drawings acquired by the British Museum in 1936. Since there is no reason to suppose that the date is a later addition to an existing drawing, the portrait may be regarded as posthumous. It appears to have been a companion to the drawing of his wife, signed and dated 1780, both at Christie's, 4 December 1957, lot 16. Mrs Milles died in 1761. It is possible that both portraits were drawn for members of their large family, perhaps for the eldest son Jeremiah (1751-97) whose portrait by Romney is now in the Henry E. Huntington Library, USA. 
Footnotesback to top
Physical descriptionback to top
Profile; hazel eye, thick black eyebrows, straight nose, pink complexion, double chin, thick light-grey wig; grey coat and apron; background with rooftops and twin towers of Exeter Cathedral, lower right.
Conservationback to top
Some yellowing; cleaned and mounted, 1972, when an extension to the paper was removed, also a backing paper watermarked PRO PATRIA/BAND & SON. 
1) W. A. Churchill, Watermarks in Paper, 1935 (145), pl.cx.
Provenanceback to top
Bought, 1967, through Colnaghi's, the purchasers at Sotheby's, 23 November 1967, lot 56; previously at Sotheby's, 4 December 1957, lot 16, anonymous vendor.
This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, 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 Jeremiah Milles