Sir Richard Steele
- Extended catalogue entry
Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue
Sir Richard Steele
by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
36 in. x 28 in. (914 mm x 711 mm)
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Inscriptionback to top
Signed and dated, bottom left: G Kneller 1711 (GK in monogram).
This portraitback to top
The Kit-Cat Club portrait. Steele had fathered an illegitimate daughter c.1700 by Elizabeth, sister of the Club secretary Jacob Tonson, but this did not deter Tonson from becoming his publisher.
A crude pencil copy inscribed 1730, without background detail, is in the NPG reserve collection (D6634) and a drawing of this type by Edward Byng is in the British Museum. 
Footnotesback to top
Referenceback to top
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 329.
J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.712.
Exhibitionsback to top
British Institution 1820, no.19; Art Treasures, Manchester, 1857, British Portrait Gallery 268; Second Special Exhibition of National Portraits ( ... William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington, 1867, no.111; Dublin 1872 (‘National Portrait Gallery’ 144); Royal House of Guelph, New Gallery, London, 1891, no.76; Marlborough and the Reign of Queen Anne, Chesterfield House, London, 1934, no.231; The World of Alexander Pope, 1988, no.30.
Reproductionsback to top
J. Simon, half-length oval, without background (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 141);1 G. Vertue 1714;2 J. Faber II 1733 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 208/31).
1 Illus. C. Gibson-Wood, Jonathan Richardson, 2000, p 69, fig.26.
2 D. Alexander, ‘George Vertue as an Engraver’, Wal. Soc., LXX, 2008, no.102.
This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685–1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, 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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On display in Room 9 at the National Portrait Gallery
- Portrait of the Day: Isaac Newton
23 December, 12:30
Help us conserve a portrait of a female adventurer, poet and medical pioneer