The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Augustus Keppel, Viscount Keppel

Augustus Keppel, Viscount Keppel, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1764-1765 -NPG 5572 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Augustus Keppel, Viscount Keppel

by Sir Joshua Reynolds
30 in. x 25 in. (762 mm x 635 mm)
NPG 5572

This portraitback to top

Reynolds painted seven portraits of Keppel between 1749 and 1785, but their relationship was based on friendship rather than patronage. They were of an age (Reynolds just two years older) and initially shared the interest of Lord Mount Edgcumbe, on whose suggestion Captain Keppel took Reynolds with him to the Mediterranean in 1749 as a guest on his ship the Centurion; ‘I had the use of his cabin’, wrote Reynolds, ‘and his study of books, as if they had been my own, and when he went ashore he generally took me with him ... as if I had travelled as his equal’. [1] Reynolds’s Italian studies, followed by his dramatic whole-length portrait of Keppel, launched his distinguished career.
NPG 5572 is a replica of the portrait now in the National Maritime Museum [2] which was probably painted for Lord Rockingham. It appears likely that NPG 5572 was still in Reynolds’s studio in 1779 when it was engraved by William Doughty (see NPG 179). A miniature copy of the head, attributed to James Smith, is in the Royal Collection, [3] and another, signed A. R., was sold Christie’s, 21 November 2000, lot 24.

Footnotesback to top

1) To Lord Mount Edgcumbe, after May 1750 (J. Ingamells & J. Edgcumbe eds., The Letters of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 2000, p 9).
2) BHC 2820; D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.1040.
3) R. J. B. Walker, The eighteenth and early nineteenth century Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1992, no.311.

Referenceback to top

Graves & Cronin
A. Graves & W. V. Cronin, A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 4 vols., 1899-1901, II, pp 540-44.

Mannings 2000
D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, no.1041.

Waterhouse 1941
E. K. Waterhouse, Reynolds, 1941, p 52.

Physical descriptionback to top

Brown eyes, grey hair, wearing a flag officer’s undress uniform of a dark blue coat with gold facings and white vest with gold facings.

Provenanceback to top

Edward Wright, Newark, in 1835;1 1st Baron Burton (1837-1909); by descent to the Trustees of Lord Burton’s 1983 Grandchildren’s Settlement; Michael Tollemache, from whom purchased 1983.

1 A pencil annotation of 1835, apparently by William Cotton III, in a set of Hodgson & Graves Engravings from the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds (I, p 80), Cottonian Collection, Plymouth (noted by D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.1041).

Exhibitionsback to top

British Art, Grosvenor Gallery, 1889 (40) lent Lord Burton; Two Centuries of British Painting, Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, 1969.

Reproductionsback to top

W. Doughty 1779; S. W. Reynolds; J. Chapman 1800 (oval).

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 Augustus Keppel, Viscount Keppel

View all known portraits for Sir Joshua Reynolds

Visit From Your Armchair

Self-portrait as My Father from the series Encounter  by Silvia Rosi © Silvia Rosi

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

An online exhibition celebrating the very best in contemporary portrait photography.

Visit now

Hold Still

Hold Still

Explore our community photography project, which presents a personal record of the UK during lockdown.

Explore the exhibition

Margaret Thatcher by Spitting Images Productions Ltd painted plastic, 1985

Sculptures in 360°

See sculptures and fascinating objects from our Collection from all angles.

View the 360s

David Hockney: Drawing from Life

Watch highlights from our special exhibition, which had to close early in March 2020 due to lockdown.

See the video