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John Palmer as Count Almaviva in 'The Spanish Barber'

2 of 17 portraits by Henry Walton

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

John Palmer as Count Almaviva in 'The Spanish Barber'

by Henry Walton
1779
29 1/4 in. x 19 1/2 in. (743 mm x 495 mm)
NPG 2086

This portraitback to top

George Colman’s The Spanish Barber, or the Fruitless Precaution, a three-act comic opera adapted from Le Barbier de Seville by Beaumarchais, was first performed at the Haymarket in August 1777 with Palmer in the leading role as Count Almaviva; in act 1, scene I, Almaviva duly appears on his own, as specified in the RA catalogue of 1779.

Referenceback to top

Baker 1917
C. H. Collins Baker, Connoisseur, XLVIII, 1917, p 136.

Bell 1999
E. Bell, ‘Life and Work of Henry Walton’, Gainsborough’s House Review, 1999, no.122.

Physical descriptionback to top

Light brown hair, wearing a red cloak over a green and pink striped suit, with white stockings with brown shoes and a white-plumed grey hat

Provenanceback to top

John Palmer; C. Wylie; sold Christie’s, 7 February 1910, lot 71, bought Pollard; John Lane,1 by whom bequeathed 1925.

1 For whose collection of British portraits, see C. H. Collins Baker, Connoisseur, XLVIII, 1917, p 127.

Exhibitionsback to top

RA 1779 (338 'a scene in the Spanish Barber, Act 1, Scene 1'); Walton, Norwich, 1963 (13).

Reproductionsback to top

Anon. 1788 (Count Almaviva, Spanish Barber, half length oval, from an original painting by Walton in the Possession of Mr Jno. Palmer Esqr).1

1 The plate made for the General Mag. & Impartial Review published in April 1788 was evidently a puff for Palmer's Royalty Theatre.


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.

View all known portraits for John Palmer