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Jonathan Swift, by Rupert Barber, circa 1745 - NPG 6961 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Jonathan Swift

by Rupert Barber
pastel, circa 1745
23 7/8 in. x 19 7/8 in. (605 mm x 504 mm)
Purchased, 2013
NPG 6961

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Peter Symonds

01 July 2016, 15:04

This picture was originally in the collection of Dr Richard Mead (1673-1754). Mead's extensive art collection was sold in 1754 over three days, where this picture is listed: 'Lot 38: JONATHAN SWIFT, D. D. a profile in crayons by Mr. Barber. This is etched by Mr. Wilson, and prefixed to his life written by Lord Orrery'

By 1794, the picture was at Egremont House, Piccadilly, in the collection of George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1837). It was sold by him as part of a two-day auction at Christie's on Friday, 7th March, 1794: 'Lot 24: The portrait of Dean Swift, in crayons'.

There is also mention of this picture in William Monck Mason's 'The History and Antiquities of the Collegiate and Cathedral Church of St. Patrick, Near Dublin' (1820, p. 445): 'There is a portrait of Swift by Rupert, son of Mrs Barber, in crayons, in the possession of Mr. Lefanu, who married the daughter of Mr. Thomas Sheridan, author of the Life of Swift'.

If this is of interest, please contact me and I can send you copies of these documents.

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