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John Callcott Horsley, Portrait of Martin Colnaghi

Key facts
Full title Portrait of Martin Colnaghi
Artist John Callcott Horsley
Artist dates 1817-1903
Date made 1889
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 111.8 × 87 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Mrs Martin H. Colnaghi, 1908
Inventory number NG2286
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of Martin Colnaghi
John Callcott Horsley

Martin Colnaghi (1821–1908) was a picture dealer and collector with a keen interest in old master paintings, especially Dutch and Flemish pictures. He is portrayed in his outdoor clothes, sitting on a buttoned red leather seat in front of a large gilt-framed landscape oil painting; he has removed his top hat and one glove but not his coat, suggesting that he is not at home. Perhaps he is visiting the National Gallery.

Colnaghi was a considerable benefactor to the Gallery, leaving it five paintings and the sum of £75,000 in his will. The funds were used to buy 13 paintings, including works by Cezanne and Delacroix.

One of four known portraits of Colnaghi, this picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1889. It was donated to the Gallery by Colnaghi’s widow, Amy, after his death in 1908.

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