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Tobias George Smollett

Tobias George Smollett, by Unknown artist, circa 1770 -NPG 1110 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Tobias George Smollett

by Unknown artist
circa 1770
27 in. x 20 3/4 in. (686 mm x 527 mm)
NPG 1110

Inscriptionback to top

In black paint on the back of the relining canvas: Doctor Tobias Smollet taken at Pisa.

This portraitback to top

The painter has not been identified and while not of the first rank he is clearly Italian.

Physical descriptionback to top

Dark grey-blue eyes, brown eyebrows, long nose, reddish complexion with grey shadow under the eyes, white wig with three rows of curls, quizzical expression; white cravat, a black bow at back of the neck, blue coat open over matching waistcoat, both with gold buttons and buttonholes; plain dark background, lighter on left; lit from top right.

Conservationback to top

Cleaned, repaired and revarnished 1897 and in 1973 when small losses in shadow to left of nose and lips retouched; canvas extensions of about ¾ in. top and bottom probably made to fit the frame.

Provenanceback to top

Bought, 1897, from the Rev. R. Langton Douglas by whom acquired from the grandson of Dr Polhill, sometime surgeon to the British Factory at Leghorn, to whom the portrait had passed after the sitter's death at nearby Monte Nero; other Smollett relics owned by the grandson included silver engraved with the sitter's initials. [1]

1) Langton writing from Genoa, 1897, and other correspondence - NPG archives.


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.

View all known portraits for Tobias George Smollett

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