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John Russell

John Russell, by John Russell, circa 1780 -NPG 1788 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

John Russell

by John Russell
circa 1780
12 in. x 10 in. (305 mm x 254 mm) oval
NPG 1788

Inscriptionback to top

On backboard: Portrait of John Russell R.A./by Himself//E. A. & B. M. Russell/Aldersey Place/Guildford.

This portraitback to top

Although NPG 1788 was described by the vendors as being in ‘absolutely perfect condition’, Milner found it ‘not nearly so fine as I had imagined’. [1] Dated according to the sitter’s apparent age; he appears appreciably younger than in the self portrait of 1794. Previously and wrongly associated with a so-called miniature of Russell traditionally attributed to Francis Cotes, [2] NPG 1788 relates directly to the elaborate study NPG 3907.

Footnotesback to top

1) J. D. Milner, letters of 26 March and 12 June 1917 (NPG archive). NPG 1788 was illus. Magazine of Art, XV, 1892, p 75, and G. C. Williamson, John Russell, 1894, p 18.
2) Illus. as such G. C. Williamson, John Russell, 1894, p 8 (then belonging to the Misses E. A. & B. M. Russell); an old photograph of NPG 3907 in the Russell Album is captioned ‘after the miniature by Coates’; perhaps Samuel Cotes was intended.

Provenanceback to top

By descent to the Misses E. A. & B. M. Russell, Guildford,1 from whom purchased 1917; stolen in 1960.

1 Born, respectively, in 1842 and 1844, they were described in 1894 as ‘the only surviving children of Samuel, seventh child of William Russell, youngest brother of the artist’ (G. C. Williamson, John Russell, 1894, p 23 and f.p.172), NPG 178 had on backboard: Portrait of John Russell R.A./by Himself//E. A. & B. M. Russell/Aldersey Place/Guildford.

Exhibitionsback to top

Russell, Imperial Institute, South Kensington, 1894 (79).


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.

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