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

Augustus Pugin

Augustus Pugin, by Unknown artist, circa 1840 -NPG 1404 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Augustus Pugin

by Unknown artist
circa 1840
24 1/8 in. x 20 in. (613 mm x 508 mm)
NPG 1404

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed along the top: AUGUSTUS: WE[LBY NORTHMO]RE: PUGIN: R.I.P. and below this, on the left-hand side: Nat 1812/Obit 1852
Painted on the right-hand side is Pugin's crest, with the motto, 'en avant'.

This portraitback to top

This picture was first offered to the NPG by Brown in 1881 but declined. According to Clement Pitman (memorandum of an interview, 1 March 1937, NPG archives), the lettering and coat of arms on the portrait were painted by his father, soon after he bought the painting, though from what source and at what date are not known. This evidence supports Dell's conjecture that the portrait was not posthumous (he thought the likeness too striking), though the inscription might suggest it. According to Dell, the portrait was unknown to Pugin's widow, whom Pugin had married in 1849. The date is based on the apparent age of the sitter. When it first entered the collection, the picture was attributed to G. Richmond, but it is quite unlike his work in style, and it is not recorded in his 'Sitters Book'. George Mackay in a letter of 25 February 1907 (NPG archives), suggested that it might have been the work of his father, Father Edward Mackay, a pupil of H. P. Briggs, and an intimate friend of Pugin. Mackay became professor of painting at Oscott College, and painted many prominent Catholics.

Referenceback to top

Dell 1905
R. E. Dell, 'A Portrait of Augustus Welby Pugin', Burlington Magazine, VII (1905), 331-2.

G. Scharf, Sir George Scharf's Trustees' Sketch Books (NPG archives), XXVII, 67.

Physical descriptionback to top

Light brown eyes, brown hair. Dressed in a white collar, and black costume. Background colour reddish-brown.

Provenanceback to top

Mr Pitman of Pitman & Sons (ecclesiastical decorators); J. N. Brown, 1881; Shepherd's Gallery, purchased from them, 1905.

Reproductionsback to top

R. E. Dell, 'A Portrait of Augustus Welby Pugin', Burlington Magazine, VII (1905), 333.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Ormond, Early Victorian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1973, 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 Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin


Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs

Test your memory by playing our matching pairs game. Three levels of difficulty make it fun for the whole family.

Test your skill

Regency familiar faces

Rearrange tiles to uncover sitters from the Gallery's Collection by playing our puzzle game.

Play today

Who do you think you were?

Answer a few lifestyle questions about the Elizabethan period and discover your inner Elizabethan!

Start now