The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

William Pitt

William Pitt, by Isaac Cruikshank, 1789-1790 -NPG 2103b - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

William Pitt

by Isaac Cruikshank
12 1/4 in. x 9 5/8 in. (311 mm x 246 mm)
NPG 2103b

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed on back in ink (window in mount): Rt Honble Wm Pitt – No 12 Modern Portraits/J. Cruikshank Senr Delt

This portraitback to top

Despite the inscription on the back (probably by Cruikshank's son) the identity of the portrait has been doubted and the suggestion that it may represent an undergraduate in a nobleman's academic gown was put forward by C. K. Adams in 1963. However Sayer's scarce mezzotint, of which an impression is in the NPG copy of an extra-illustrated Wheatley's London, firmly secures the subject as Pitt. It shows him aged 30 with the Regency Bill which passed the Commons 5 February 1789 but was halted by the King's recovery. The series 'Modern Portraits' is not recorded in the NPG archive.

Physical descriptionback to top

Whole-length standing in Treasury gown, left hand on table.

Provenanceback to top

Given by Alfred Jones 1925.

Reproductionsback to top

Mezzotint published by R. Sayer 20 February 1790, whole-length standing as in the drawing, Regency Bill on the table.

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 William Pitt


Our channel

View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.

Sit back and watch

Artist and sitter interviews

Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.

Explore behind the scenes

Sleeping Awake

Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.

Hear our story