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George Whitefield

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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

George Whitefield

by John Russell
1770?
6 7/8 in. x 5 3/8 in. (175 mm x 136 mm) irregular
NPG 1792

This portraitback to top

NPG 1792 shows less of the sitter than Trotter's engraving published 7 March 1783, From an original picture in the possession of John Grove Esq. Millbank. Westmr., but has obviously been cut down. It is on a small scale. A 'Mr Groves' is mentioned in Russell's diary, c.1769, but not otherwise identified. [1] The portrait engraved by Trotter is likely to have been a second version. NPG 1792 probably remained in the possession of the artist's family, and is perhaps a study for the whole length portrait engraved by Watson (F. O'Donoghue and Sir Henry M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits ... in the British Museum, 1908-25, 10), which shows Whitefield preaching in Moorfields. This was published in 1772, but no painting is now known. Whitefield was a particular friend of the artist and sat to him 11 May 1770. [2]

Footnotesback to top

1) G. C. Williamson, John Russell R.A., 1894, p 24.
2) Ibid, p 22.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue eyes, with squint, grey eyebrows, thin lips, white wig, elderly appearance; white bands, black gown; green-background.

Conservationback to top

Good; mounted on panel on acquisition in 1917; appears to have been cut from a larger canvas.

Provenanceback to top

Given 1917 by F. H. Webb, a great-grandson of the artist. [1]

1) G. C. Williamson, John Russell R.A., 1894, pp 3, 169.

Reproductionsback to top

J. Watson, 1772; T. Trotter, 1783 for Middleton's Biographica Evangelica.


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.

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