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Unknown woman, formerly known as Peg Woffington

Unknown woman, formerly known as Peg Woffington, by Francis Hayman, circa 1745 -NPG 2177 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Unknown woman, formerly known as Peg Woffington

attributed to Francis Hayman
circa 1745
24 1/2 in. x 17 5/8 in. (622 mm x 448 mm)
NPG 2177

This portraitback to top

At the time of its acquisition, NPG 2177 was known as a Highmore and subsequently attributed to Hayman; it is nearer the latter, though not certainly by him. While there is nothing intrinsically against the identification - the costume suggests a date of c.1745 - there is no real ground for it and little facial resemblance on comparison with authentic portraits. The features are very close to the Ferguson drawing of the lady formerly in the Wellesley collection, but this itself is also suspect as a portrait of Peg.

Physical descriptionback to top

Dark brown hair, brown eyes; rose coloured dress with blue underskirt; to the right, a negro page in green coat summons the chairman, approaching in the background.

Conservationback to top

Discoloured varnish, pin-holes at corners; otherwise sound, though needs cleaning.

Provenanceback to top

When bought, 1928, from J. Leger and Son (as by Highmore), stated to have been from the collection of J. Edward Taylor 1912, and to have been exhibited at Whitechapel in 1901. It is presumably lot 227 of the Taylor sale, Christie's, 5 July 1912, 'W. Hogarth. Portrait of a Lady In pink dress ... a negro page and chair-bearer behind. 24 x 17 ½ ins.'


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 Francis Hayman

View all known portraits for Margaret ('Peg') Woffington