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Sir John Richardson

Sir John Richardson, by Stephen Pearce, 1850 -NPG 909 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sir John Richardson

by Stephen Pearce
14 7/8 in. x 12 1/2 in. (378 mm x 318 mm)
NPG 909

Inscriptionback to top

Apparently signed and dated on the back (now no longer visible): Stephen Pearce 1850 (the date subsequently amended to 1851).

This portraitback to top

This is a study for Pearce's group of the 'Arctic Council, 1851' (see NPG 1208), as well as an autonomous portrait in its own right. In the finished group, Richardson is shown three-quarter length pointing at charts on the table, but his pose is identical with that in this study. He is wearing the undress naval uniform (1856 pattern) of a staff surgeon (i.e. a surgeon with over twenty years service). In a memorandum of c.1899 (NPG archives), Pearce records painting the NPG study in 1850. The date on the back of the portrait was originally recorded as 1850, but was later amended to 1851 for reasons unknown. Most of the studies for the 'Arctic Council' were executed in 1850.

Referenceback to top

Pearce 1903
S. Pearce, Memories of the Past (1903), pp 53-5.

Physical descriptionback to top

Healthy complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair. Dressed in a black stock, white shirt and dark blue naval uniform with gold-braided epaulettes. Background colour darkish brown.

Provenanceback to top

Commissioned or purchased by Lady Franklin, and bequeathed by her niece, Miss Sophia Cracroft, in accordance with the wishes of her aunt, 1892.

Exhibitionsback to top

Royal Naval Exhibition, Chelsea, 1891 (32).

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 Stephen Pearce

View all known portraits for Sir John Richardson