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William Warburton

1 of 11 portraits of William Warburton

William Warburton, by Charles Philips, circa 1737 -NPG 23 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

William Warburton

by Charles Philips
circa 1737
49 3/8 in. x 39 1/2 in. (1254 mm x 1003 mm)
NPG 23

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed, top right, in large brown script: Bp. Warburton.

This portraitback to top

The first part of Warburton's Divine Legation appeared in 1737, the second in 1741. The coarseness of our portrait and the absence in it (confirmed by x-ray) of the medallion of Pope seen in Burford's mezzotint, might seem to predicate another, perhaps better, version. But some allowance may be due for condition. NPG 23 remains uncleaned - and the medallion probably refers to the sitter's edition of Pope, which did not appear until 1751, four years after Philips' death. No other version is known. The inscription must be of 1759 or later.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue eyes, grey eyebrows, grey wig; dark blue gown, white bands, wrist bands of white shirt just visible; paper headed The divine Legation of Moses, standish and quill on table, dark green chair; plain brown background.

Conservationback to top

Discoloured retouchings in the shadow of the face and his left hand; varnish dark; abraded down the edges; pin-holes at corners; lined and restored 1891; surface cleaned and varnished 1897.

Provenanceback to top

Bought 1857 from G. Robinson, Auction and Estate Agency Offices, 21 Old Bond Street.

Reproductionsback to top

The type is engraved by Thomas Burford (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 19).


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 William Warburton