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Sarah Trimmer

Sarah Trimmer, by Henry Howard, exhibited 1798 -NPG 796 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Sarah Trimmer

by Henry Howard
exhibited 1798
35 1/2 in. x 27 in. (902 mm x 686 mm)
NPG 796

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed with initials lower right.

This portraitback to top

Henry Howard's portrait shows Mrs Trimmer slightly older than she appears in Lawrence's portrait, NPG 5498. It was painted some years after the death of her husband in 1792 and gives her a gently smiling expression. Howard painted several members of the Trimmer family including her son, Henry Scott Trimmer, as a child holding a cat and involving a story of improvement by Turner (see Sotheby's 12 March 1969 lot 28). A group of Trimmer portraits by Howard, including one of Sarah, is now in the Ipswich Museum, formerly at Rushbrooke Hall. A portrait at Chatsworth with a mezzotint by Charles Turner after Howard 1815 is more likely to represent Georgiana (Poynz). Countess Spencer (Alfred Whitman, Charles Turner, 1907, 569).

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length seated, quill in right hand, tortoiseshell spectacles in left hand, left arm on a Holy Bible; white mob cap, check dress, black silk and lace shawl, white neckerchief, black neckband; silvery grey hair, brown eyes, pink complexion, smiling expression; black inkpot, quills and red leather book in foreground, pilaster to left, dark red curtain background.

Provenanceback to top

Kirby Trimmer family possession and Christie's 12 May 1888 (60), bought Agnew for the NPG.

Exhibitionsback to top

RA 1798 (67); Third Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1868 (147) lent by the Rev Kirby Trimmer; 'Joshua Kirby', Gainsborough House, Sudbury 1980.

Reproductionsback to top

Stipple by W. Bond published 1 January 1799; stipple vignette by E. Scriven from a drawing by Jackson published 26 December 1812 in Cadell's Contemporary Portraits, 1822; oval head and shoulders stipple by H. Meyer, 1 March 1814 in Life and Writings, I, frontispiece; stipple vignette head and shoulders by C. Penny for New British Lady's Magazine, 1 August 1818; others listed in British Museum Catalogue.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, 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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