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Arthur Phillip

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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Arthur Phillip

by Francis Wheatley
1786
35 1/2 in. x 27 1/4 in. (902 mm x 692 mm)
NPG 1462

Inscriptionback to top

Signed and dated on the rocks, lower left: FW:/1786.

This portraitback to top

NPG 1462 was presumably painted following Phillip’s appointment in August 1786 as governor of New South Wales and before he sailed for Botany Bay on 13 May 1787. The setting is non-descript (the boat cannot be identified), but Phillip’s stepping ashore is wholly appropriate. A second portrait of Phillip by Wheatley, a well-characterised head, is also dated 1786.

Referenceback to top

Webster 1970
M. Webster, Francis Wheatley, 1970, no.49.

Physical descriptionback to top

Brown eyes, wearing a captain’s undress uniform, black hat, blue coat with brass buttons, white breeches.

Provenanceback to top

Miss Harriet Lane; Mrs Elizabeth Gayton, by whom bequeathed 1907.1

1 Of Queens Road, Peckham; the picture had been in her house since 1860 when Harriet Lane died there ‘and is believed to have been in her [Lane’s] possession many years’ (letter from Messrs Freshfields, Mrs Gayton’s solicitors, 18 May 1907; NPG archive). Colin Dean (letter of 16 October 1989; NPG archive) said ‘there appears to have been’ an Ellen Gay[i]ton, a contemporary, who was related to Phillip.

Exhibitionsback to top

Wheatley, Aldeburgh, Leeds 1965 (11); First Impressions, British Museum, 1988; Coming of Strangers, Sydney, 1988.

Reproductionsback to top

H. Macbeth-Raeburn c.1900.1

1 Example sold Christie's, South Kensington, 10 November 1988, lot 151.


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.

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