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Paul Sandby

1 of 252 portraits by Sir William Beechey

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Paul Sandby

by Sir William Beechey
circa 1789
30 1/8 in. x 25 in. (764 mm x 636 mm)
NPG 1379

Inscriptionback to top

An unexplained label on the verso of NPG 1379 reads: 1886/March 24th/No.4//William Sandby Esqre/? portrait of Paul Sandby, R.A., at 72./By Sir William Beechey, R.A.

This portraitback to top

Beechey was a close friend of ‘father Sandby’ who advised him ‘on all matters relative to his profession ... encouraged and protected him in and out of the Academy’, and witnessed his marriage in February 1793. [1] A second half-length portrait by Beechey was engraved by S. W. Reynolds in 1794, facing left with head turned to front, wearing a crimson coat and white waistcoat; it was lent by William Sandby to the Second special exhibition of National Portraits (William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington, 1867 (509), when it was clearly in a very poor state. [2] William Sandby recorded that one of these ‘two very admirable portraits, [painted] later in life (when he was seventy-two)’ was presented to Sandby and the other was kept by Beechey ‘until his death, when it came into the [Sandby] family’. [3] It is not clear which was exhibited by Beechey at the RA in 1789.

Footnotesback to top

1) Chamberlain 1907, pp 29, 184.
2) Photograph NPG archive, showing severe shrinkage craquelure throughout the head.
3) W. Sandby, Thomas and Paul Sandby, 1892, p 193.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue eyes, white powdered wig, wearing a dark green coat with a velvet collar, bright green waistcoat.

Provenanceback to top

By descent to William Arnold Sandby,1 by whom bequeathed 1904.

1 Author of the Sandby monograph 1892; probably a grandson of Thos. Sandby’s daughter Harriot (1763-1832), who married her cousin, Paul Sandby’s son Thomas William (d. 1832); his obituary in The Times, 1 June 1904, referred to ‘his kinsmen’, Thomas and Paul Sandby.

Exhibitionsback to top

1 [RA 1789 (241)]; RA 1888 (22) lent W. Sandby [28 Westbourne Park West];2 Thomas and Paul Sandby, Reading, Bolton, 1972 (2); Mason 1972 (72).

1 An unexplained label on the verso of NPG 1379 reads: 1886/March 24th/No.4//WIlliam Sandby Esqre/? portrait of Paul Sandby, R.A., at 72./By Sir WIlliam Beechey, R.A.
2 The label remains verso.

Reproductionsback to top

H. Landseer 1809 from a drawing by W. Evans.1

1 The drawing now in Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery (04-479).


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, 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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