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John Opie

1 of 13 portraits of John Opie

John Opie, by John Opie, 1785 -NPG 47 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

John Opie

by John Opie
1785
29 1/4 in. x 24 1/2 in. (743 mm x 622 mm)
NPG 47

Inscriptionback to top

The original canvas, relined, was inscribed: I. Opie/Pictor/1785 (tracing by Scharf 18 March 1867 in registered packet 47, and see Sir George Scharf’s Trustees’ Sketchbooks, XI, 54).

This portraitback to top

The portrait is one of a series of self-portraits Opie painted from his youth until the end of his life, mainly as experiments in various styles. NPG 47 shows him aged 24; a variant without palette and brushes, painted in a looser technique, was lent by Mrs Romney Fox to Plymouth 1962-3 (38).

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length to left with brush and palette, dark grey coat, white neckcloth and shirt-frill; long dark brown hair in fringe, grey eyes, fresh complexion, full lips; plain dark brown background.

Provenanceback to top

Bought from W. Loftus Rickitts 1858.

Exhibitionsback to top

'Opie and Bone', Truro, 1951; 'John Opie RA', Plymouth, 1957; 'John Opie', Arts Council, 1962-3, catalogues by Mary Peter.

Reproductionsback to top

Stipple by Ridley in The European Magazine, 1 December 1798.


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 John Opie