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John Sheppard

5 of 3516 portraits matching these criteria:

- subject matching 'Pencil'

John Sheppard, by Sir James Thornhill, 1724 -NPG 4313 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

John Sheppard

attributed to Sir James Thornhill
1724
12 3/4 in. x 9 7/8 in. (324 mm x 251 mm)
NPG 4313

Inscriptionback to top

On the back, collection marks of Alfred Morrison [1] and Sir Bruce Ingram, [2] and in pencil, in a recent hand, Thornhill and Hogarth, the sitter's name and G. White in mezzotint.

1) F. Lugt, Repertoire des Catalogues de Ventes, 1600 (151).
2) Ibid (1405a).

This portraitback to top

Thornhill sketched Sheppard in his cell at Newgate during his final period of imprisonment before execution on 16 November. A lithograph of a pen and ink drawing, head only and presumably ad vivum, inscribed in Thornhill's hand J. Shepherd/Nov 5th/1724 was published by F. Alvey with the following legend: This Print is a careful Fac-Simile from the Original Sketch taken a few days before the Execution, by that celebrated artist Sir James Thornhil whose signature it bears. The original was part of the collection of the late J. Richardson Esqre and at present remains in the hands of the Publisher for the inspection of the curious. The original is now lost.
A three-quarter length pen-and-wash drawing, unattributed but with white highlights characteristic of Thornhill, was given to the London Museum by C. Fairfax Murray, 1912. NPG 4313 is in reverse to the mezzotint after Thornhill by G. White, suggesting at first sight that it might be the engraver's preparatory drawing; both show the sitter's face somewhat idealised. White's style, however, is more stilted. A comparison of NPG 4313 with pencil nudes in Thornhill's sketchbook in the British Museum points rather to this artist, [1] but the head seems too far from the London Museum type for firm attribution.

Footnotesback to top

1) E. Croft-Murray, verbal.

Physical descriptionback to top

Hair close-cut, neck-cloth loosely tied, coat unbuttoned; in a prison cell, hands manacled, his right index finger raised.

Conservationback to top

Two old damages in background, left of his shoulder; another, top right corner.

Provenanceback to top

Bought, 1963, from the executors of Sir Bruce Ingram (d. 1963); previously in the collection of Alfred Morrison (d. 1897); earlier history not known.

Reproductionsback to top

Engraved by George White (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 42); a reversed stipple derivative by W. Maddocks (Maddox), published in Portraits, Memoirs, and Characters of Remarkable Persons by J. Caulfield, 1819.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, 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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