Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles

Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, by George Francis Joseph, 1817 -NPG 84 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles

by George Francis Joseph
55 in. x 43 in. (1397 mm x 1092 mm)
NPG 84

Inscriptionback to top

Signed and dated on a paper by his elbow: Geo Fra Joseph ARA/1817.

This portraitback to top

The portrait, signed and dated 1817, was presumably painted while Raffles was in England to see through the publication of his History of Java, 1817. He gave Chantrey a sitting at the same time. In Joseph's portrait he is dressed in the black court suit, knee breeches and silk stockings probably worn at the levee at Carlton House on 29 May 1817 when the Prince Regent gave him a twenty-minute eulogy and the knighthood marked in the paper he holds. Colonel Raffles Flint, his nephew, in a correspondence with the NPG in 1859, mentioned a smaller portrait by Joseph, given by Raffles to his friend Major Otho Travers (letters in NPG archive); this was half-length in blue coat, right arm resting on a book, exhibited Third Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1868 (215) lent by Mrs Travers.

Physical descriptionback to top

Whole-length seated in black suit, white waistcoat, white neckcloth and cravat, holding a paper addressed to Sir Thos Stamford Raffles; table to left with chestnut-brown cloth, books, inkstand, quill, papers in scarlet folder, small gold statuette of a Javanese Buddha and a stone bas-relief of an ancient Javanese god holding a poppy-head; Regency armchair upholstered with sunflower pattern, crimson curtain, dark blue sky, yellowish-grey clouds, landscape with river and trees behind stone balustrade; dark hair, light blue eyes, fresh complexion, serious expression.

Provenanceback to top

Given by his nephew, W. C. Raffles Flint in 1859.

Exhibitionsback to top

'Javanese Orchestra collected by Raffles', British Museum, 1971; 'Faces as Art', NPG, 1976; loan to the House of Commons since 1976.

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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