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Portrait of a Woman aged about 45
British (possibly Sir William Boxall)
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This painting and Portrait of a Man aged about 45, also in the National Gallery, were designed to hang together as portraits of a husband and wife. They are said to have been given by the painter Sir William Boxall RA, director of the National Gallery from 1865 to 1874, to his friend, the architect James Wyatt RA (1746–1813). Wyatt’s great-grandson, H.W. Standen, presented them to the National Gallery in 1964 as a ‘Self-Portrait of William Boxall and a companion portrait of his wife’. However, the features in the man’s portrait are unlike those in Boxall’s Self Portrait at the Age of Nineteen, also in the National Gallery’s collection, and he never married. It is now thought more likely that this is an early portrait by Boxall of his mother. The companion male portrait probably shows his father.

Key facts
Artist British (possibly Sir William Boxall)
Full title Portrait of a Woman aged about 45
Series Portraits of a Man and a Woman
Date made about 1830
Medium and support Oil on board
Dimensions 30.2 x 25.6 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by H.W. Standen, 1964
Inventory number NG6353
Location in Gallery Not on display
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Portraits of a Man and a Woman

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These two pictures, both painted in oil on board, were designed to hang together as portraits of a husband and wife. They are said to have been given by the painter Sir William Boxall RA, director of the National Gallery from 1865 to 1874, to his friend, the architect James Wyatt RA (1746–1813). Wyatt’s great-grandson, H.W. Standen, presented them to the National Gallery in 1964 as a ‘Self-Portrait of William Boxall and a companion portrait of his wife’. However, the features in the male portrait are unlike those in Boxall’s Self Portrait at the Age of Nineteen, which is also in the National Gallery, and he never married. It is now thought more likely that these are early portraits by Boxall of his parents.

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