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J.M.W. Turner

6 of 43 portraits of J.M.W. Turner

Regency Portraits Catalogue

J.M.W. Turner

by John Linnell
1838
18 1/8 in. x 15 1/8 in. (460 mm x 384 mm)
NPG 6344

This portraitback to top

According to a letter of July 1861 from Linnell to Thornbury, who had presumably acquired the portrait from David Thomas White, a picture dealer of Maddox Street, Hanover Square, it was painted on 29 June 1838 'from recollection, at the request of a friend of his, at whose table we frequently met [Rev J. Daniel]. I made no memorandum at the time but painted from memory entirely at the first opportunity ...' (NPG Offers Book 1860 XXXIX/H/2 and Walter Thornbury, Life of Turner, 1862, pp 389-91). Linnell continued by mentioning 'a very careful outline of Turner's father, taken when attending his son's lecture at the RA about 1810, and a sketch of the eyes and brows, looking down, of the lecturer, both of which I will show you if you think it worth coming to Red Hill for' (Tate Gallery T.3117). Linnell's oil was offered to the NPG by David Thomas White, 7 June 1860, for £400, and declined but traced by Scharf with annotations: 'very gaudily and flimsily painted. Deficient in drawing and definition of form: painted chiefly in transparent colour and scumbled upon with a few opaque high lights in conclusion' (Sir George Scharf’s Trustees’ Sketchbooks, IV, 47).

Physical descriptionback to top

Head and shoulders to right, brown hair brushed back tidily, brown whiskers, fresh rosy complexion, hooked nose, indeterminate colour of eyes; brown coat, reddish-brown waistcoat, black stock with coral pin; trees and sky background.

Provenanceback to top

John Linnell and sold to David Thomas White; Walter Thornbury; William Sharp of Birmingham; Sir Charles Tennant (Catalogue of Pictures ... Sir Charles Tennant, 1896, p 52) and on loan to the NPG from the family of the Hon. Cohn Tennant since 1975.

Exhibitionsback to top

'Royal Jubilee Exhibition', Manchester, 1887 (762) lent by Sir Charles Tennant; 'Victorian Exhibition', 1891-2 (275); 'International Exhibition', Glasgow, 1901 (113).

Reproductionsback to top

Oval mezzotint by C. W. Wass published J. Noseden 1875.


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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