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Sir George Beaumont
John Hoppner
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Sir George Beaumont (1753–1827), the National Gallery’s first great benefactor, is portrayed here at the age of 50. He is dressed in black with a glimpse of white waistcoat showing above a white stock against a plain crimson background. The restricted colour palette adds to the portrait’s drama.

Beaumont built up a relatively small but well-chosen collection of paintings, chiefly by Italian, French and Dutch masters and was instrumental in the foundation of the National Gallery. He told the government that if they bought the collection of Sir John Julius Angerstein, he would donate 16 paintings from his own collection ‘whenever the Gallery about to be erected is ready to receive them’. In 1824, the National Gallery opened to the public and in 1826 Beaumont’s paintings hung there with Angerstein’s.

Hoppner painted this portrait in 1803 and exhibited it at the Royal Academy in 1809, the last year of his life.

Key facts
Artist John Hoppner
Artist dates 1758 - 1810
Full title Sir George Beaumont
Date made 1803
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 77.5 x 63.9 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Claude Dickason Rotch (1878 - 1961), 1962
Inventory number NG6333
Location in Gallery Not on display
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