- Extended catalogue entry
Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue
by Ellen Sharples, after James Sharples
9 1/2 in. x 7 1/2 in. (241 mm x 191 mm) oval, uneven
This portraitback to top
For the Sharples practice, see NPG 174.
The composition approaches that of the miniature of Washington by Walter Robertson, but the cut of the collar (besides the Sharples's movements) confirms a slightly later date. Knox illustrates five copies,  of which two are in the Sharples collection in Bristol Art Gallery;  another was sold Christie’s, 22 May 1973, lot 84. A pencil copy of the head alone by Ellen Sharples is in a folio of her drawings at Bristol.  A half-length version in oils belonged to the Hanover Trust Bank, London, in 1968.  The type was engraved by Albert Rosenthal in 1900 from a Sharpless’ pastel Owned in Philadelphia. 
Footnotesback to top
1) K. McC. Knox, The Sharples, 1930, nos.49, 51-54. See also J. H. Morgan & M. Fielding, The Life Portraits of Washington, 1931, pp 409-10.
3) K. McC. Knox, The Sharples, nos. 49, 51; Cat. of the Sharples Coll., Bristol, 1910, nos.1, 72 (both listings agreeing that one was attributable to James Sharples, and the other on ivory was by Ellen Sharples).
3) K. McC. Knox, The Sharples, 1930, no.94 (Sharples collection).
4) Illus. Connoisseur, CLXIX, 1968, p 73; cf. K. McC. Knox, The Sharples, 1930, no.48.
5) C. H. Hart, Catalogue of the Engraved Portraits of Washington, 1904, no.708.
Physical descriptionback to top
Clear grey eyes, powdered hair, wearing the Continental uniform of blue coat with buff lapels and gold epaulettes and buff waistcoat; dark grey background with deep blue shading upper right.
Provenanceback to top
Given by the artist to William Russell (1740-1818) of Birmingham;1 by descent to T. H. Russell by whom, with his sister Mrs Alexander Scott, presented, together with a portrait of Joseph Priestley [NPG 2904], 1936.
1 Provenance as given to Hake by T. H. Russell in November 1936. Russell knew Washington in America, meeting him at Mount Vernon in 1797, see S. H. Jeyes, The Russells of Birmingham in the French Revolution and in America 1791-1814, 1911, pp 262, 265; and Priestley NPG 2904.
This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, 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 George Washington
Develop your art skills
Discover our BP Next Generation short films made by artists. Follow step by step guides in drawing and painting techniques.
Hold Still photography workshop
Reflect on your own experiences of lockdown through this easy-to-do from home, photographic exercise.
Draw Like a Renaissance Master
Revisit The Encounter exhibition and learn about Renaissance and Baroque drawing methods and materials.