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Thomas Sandby

Thomas Sandby, by Sir William Beechey, 1792 -NPG 1380 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Thomas Sandby

by Sir William Beechey
1792
35 1/4 in. x 27 1/2 in. (895 mm x 699 mm)
NPG 1380

Inscriptionback to top

Signed bottom left: WB.1792.

This portraitback to top

For Beechey’s close friendship with Paul Sandby, see NPG 1379. When exhibited at the RA in 1792 NPG 1380 was described as ‘the best in the room, in our minds, for the true simplicity of the art, the sober and unaffected style which attracts and satisfies more than the tinselled glittering of the French School’. [1] A version without the spectacles, inscribed Dr Hawkesworth [probably for John Hawkesworth, 1715-73, the friend of Samuel Johnson], belonged to T. L. Metters in 1964. NPG 1380 was copied by W. Evans, [2] preparatory for an engraving for Cadell’s contemporary portraits, but a print was never published. [3]

Footnotesback to top

1) Chamberlain 1907, p 40 (quoting Humphry Ward’s press cuttings).
2) Drawing in Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery (04-478); cf. NPG 1379.
3) W. Sandby, Thomas and Paul Sandby, 1892, p 195.

Physical descriptionback to top

Brown eyes, white hair, wearing a dark coat and waistcoat, seated in a red chair, in his right hand a porte-crayon with red chalk; to the left on a table, his quill, spectacle case and spectacles.

Provenanceback to top

By descent to William Arnold Sandby (see NPG 1379), by whom bequeathed 1904.

Exhibitionsback to top

RA 1792 (111); Thomas and Paul Sandby, Reading, Bolton, 1972 (1).


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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