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William Pitt

3 of 173 portraits of William Pitt

Regency Portraits Catalogue

William Pitt

by Isaac Cruikshank
1789-1790
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.

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