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John Rennie Sr

Regency Portraits Catalogue

John Rennie Sr

by William Bain, after Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey
1822, based on a work of 1818
2 1/2 in. (64 mm) diameter
NPG 679

Inscriptionback to top

Obverse: profile to left lettered: JOHN RENNIE and signed Bain. f.
Reverse: lettering in laurel wreath, * * * * * Crinan & Lancaster/CANALS/London Leith & Sheerness/DOCK Waterloo & Southwark/BRIDGES/Plymouth Howth & Dunleary/HARBOURS/&c. &c. &c.

This portraitback to top

The profile clearly derives from Chantrey's bust of 1818 (NPG 649) at that time in the Rennie family possession. His son George Rennie, then a clerk of the irons at the Royal Mint, sent Bain a drawing of it: 'Some time ago I made the enclosed sketch from the Bust with a Camera Lucida: perhaps it may be useful in the new Die you are going to engrave. I shall get the Die ready as soon as possible./Yours - George Rennie/ps. please preserve it' (letter addressed to John Bain dated Royal Mint 13 Nov 1822, and drawing, both kindly shown to me by Messrs Spink & Son in April 1983). Variants of Bain's medal appeared with and without drapery, in 1823 with a plan of Sheerness Docks on reverse and in 1825 with a view of London Bridge (Laurence Brown, British Historical Medals, 1980, 62-4, 1219-20, 1253). L. Forrer, Dictionary of British Medallists lists another of 1831.

Provenanceback to top

Given by his grandson John Keith Rennie 1883.

Exhibitionsback to top

RA 1823 (1093) with medals of Scott and Canning 'from busts by Francis Chantrey Esq.'; 'London Bridge in Art', Guildhall Art Gallery, 1969 (122).


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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