Sir Isaac Newton
- Extended catalogue entry
Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue
Sir Isaac Newton
by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
29 3/4 in. x 24 1/2 in. (756 mm x 622 mm)
Inscriptionback to top
Signed, centre left: G Kneller/1702 (GK in monogram).
This portraitback to top
The second of three Kneller portraits of Newton. A signed studio copy is in the Hunterian collection, Glasgow;  other copies are in the Royal Mint (Government Art Collection 6732)  and at Knole;  a miniature by Bernard Lens III, formerly at Ickworth, was sold Sotheby’s, 26 November 1992, lot 370,  and a plumbago drawing by David Paton, Sotheby’s, 7 March 1983, lot 22. 
Footnotesback to top
1) From Dr Richard Mead; M. Keynes, The Iconography of Sir Isaac Newton to 1800, 2005, III-2, p 14.
2) M. Keynes, The Iconography of Sir Isaac Newton to 1800, 2005, III-3, p.15; illus. The Public Catalogue Foundation, Government Art Collection, p 164.
3) M. Keynes, The Iconography of Sir Isaac Newton to 1800, 2005, III-4, p 16; C. J. Phillips, History of the Sackville Family, 1929, II, p 439; bought by the Duke of Dorset in 1777.
4) M. Keynes, The Iconography of Sir Isaac Newton to 1800, 2005, III-8, p 18.
5) M. Keynes, The Iconography of Sir Isaac Newton to 1800, 2005, III-6, p 16.
Referenceback to top
P. Fara, Newton, the Making of a Genius, 2002, pp 31, 35.
M. Keynes, The Iconography of Sir Isaac Newton to 1800, 2005, III-1, p 15.
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, pp 248-49.
J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.529.
Provenanceback to top
By descent from the sitter’s niece, Catherine Barton (d. 1739) who married John Conduitt (1688-1737);1 their daughter married 1740 John, Viscount Lymington, eldest son of the 1st Earl of Portsmouth; by descent through the Earls of Portsmouth; Portsmouth sale of Newtoniana, Sotheby’s, 14 July 1936, lot 330, bought Rosenbach, from whom purchased with the help of the National Art Collections Fund.
1 Who succeeded Newton as Master of the Royal Mint and gathered material for a Newton biography which remained unpublished.
Exhibitionsback to top
Sir Godfrey Kneller, NPG, 1971, no.81; Sterling and the Euro, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1999.
Reproductionsback to top
1 J. Smith 1712 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 190);2 J. Simon (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 109); A. Miller 1744 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 38); J. Houbraken 1743 (as from the collection of John Conduitt).
1 These engravings further described by M. Keynes, The Iconography of Sir Isaac Newton to 1800, 2005, XLIII 1–3, 7, pp 55–56; Keynes describes a total of thirteen derivative plates.
2 A half-length copy from Smith’s reversed engraving is in the Uffizi (IC341) acquired in 1720 (M. Keynes, The Iconography of Sir Isaac Newton to 1800, 2005, III–7, pp 16-17).
This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685–1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, 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.