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William Hepworth Thompson

7 of 38 portraits by Samuel Laurence

William Hepworth Thompson, by Samuel Laurence, 1841 -NPG 1743 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

William Hepworth Thompson

by Samuel Laurence
20 in. x 14 1/4 in. (508 mm x 362 mm)
NPG 1743

Inscriptionback to top

Signed and dated (lower left): S. Laurence 1841

This portraitback to top

In a letter of 22 February 1842, Donne wrote to Blakesley (Johnson, p.70): 'Laurence has a masterly pencil and time will doubtless soften the asperity of his style which gives, at least to the two drawings I have seen, more of melancholy than I hope either Thompson or Trench exhibit in their daily countenances.' The drawings of Thompson and Trench (NPG 1685) were part of a whole series of drawings of the Cambridge 'Apostles' executed by Laurence at this time. The drawing of Thompson was lithographed by Weld Taylor, according to Miles (no example located). Laurence also executed a painting of Thompson in 1869, now at Trinity College, Cambridge, exhibited RA, 1869 (72), and Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, 1879 (203), and a second version for Thompson himself. In a letter of 1869 to Thompson (Trinity College Library, quoted by Miles), Laurence refers briefly to the NPG drawing: 'The same side of the face I drew years ago. Your face is more influenced by the light and shade cast upon it than most I have looked at.'

Referenceback to top

Johnson 1905
C. B. Johnson, William Bodham Donne and his Friends (1905), p 70.

F. Miles, 'Samuel Laurence' (typescript copy, NPG library).

Provenanceback to top

Miss S. F. Spedding, purchased from her, 1914.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Ormond, Early Victorian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1973, 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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