- Extended catalogue entry
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue
by John Russell
24 in. x 18 in. (610 mm x 457 mm)
Inscriptionback to top
Signed in pencil, top left: J. Russell R.A. pinxit./1803
An early-19th century ink label, formerly verso, reads: John Russell.R.A./Portrait of Rev Dr. Colin Mylne. F.R.S./B.1743. d.1815./This is one of the Pictures in the Linnaeus Gallery/& was disposed of with others in the Great Lottery by Dr. Thornton in 1811.
This portraitback to top
NPG 5180 was one of six pastel portraits by Russell commissioned by Dr Thornton for his extravagant New Illustration of the Sexual System of Linnaeus, published in parts between 1799 and 1807. The dispersal of the many pictures he commissioned was both protracted and unremunerative.
Physical descriptionback to top
Blue eyes, white hair, wearing gown and bands, holding with his right hand a leather-bound LINNAEI/GENERA/PLANTARM.
Provenanceback to top
Dr Robert John Thornton (c.1768-1837); offered in Thornton’s Royal Botanical Lottery 1811;1 Thornton’s sale Christie’s, 2 July 1813, lot 23, bought Swift; for sale in the European Museum, London 1814 (cats. of April 1814, lot 497, and 29 August 1814, lot 497);2 Miss M. J. C. Gray; Christie’s, 22 November 1977, lot 101, withdrawn; purchased from Miss Gray 1977.
1 An early-19th century ink label, formerly verso, reads: John Russell.R.A./Portrait of Rev Dr. Colin Mylne. F.R.S./B.1743. d.1815./This is one of the Pictures in the Linnaeus Gallery/& was disposed of with others in the Great Lottery by Dr. Thornton in 1811 [sic].
2 There is then a long gap in the provenance; listed as ‘missing’ by G. C. Williamson, John Russell, 1894, p 130.
Exhibitionsback to top
Dr Thornton's Exhibition, Bond Street, London, 1804 (48).
Reproductionsback to top
Holl 1804 (oval, lettered ... AUTHOR OF THE BOTANICAL DICTIONARY; the book, titled BOTANICAE/DICTIONAR).
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.