Jonathan Richardson the elder (London 1665 – London 1745)
Richardson was one of England’s most successful portraitists and art theorists when he painted this likeness of himself in about 1728. He is particularly known for a series of self-portraits made in the decade subsequent to his retirement from professional life. This painting dates to the very beginning of that period and shows him in confident mood, ready to face the public. Unconventionally for an eighteenth-century portrait on this format, he wears his hat on his head rather than under his arm, as if stepping into the outside world.
Oil painting on panel, Self-portrait by Jonathan Richardson the elder (London 1665 – London 1745), inscribed in bold white paint on half-blackened back of panel: "Jonathan Richardson / 1665 - 1745. / Painted by Himself, circa 1728." A half-length portrait of the artist, turned to the right, gazing at the spectator, in a shoulder-length powdered wig under a dark tricorne hat edged with a slim gilt braid, wearing a grey coat his gloved left hand just visible on the right; dark background. A variant is in the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Anonymous sale, Christie's, 20 June 1913, lot 68, as 'Duke of Newcastle', Early English School, bought by A. H. Buttery (1868 - 1929) for 100 guineas, from whom acquired by Mrs Greville, 1916; The bequest of Margaret (Anderson) McEwan, The Hon. Mrs Ronald - later Dame Margaret - Henry Fulke Greville, DBE (1863-1942) from probate records linked with the donation of the property to the National Trust in 1943. This item found on the record for Polesden Lacey pictures, drawings etc., the Dining Room, page 125.
Polesden Lacey, The McEwan Collection (National Trust)
Makers and roles
Jonathan Richardson the elder (London 1665 – London 1745), artist