Samuel Rogers (1763–1855) was a minor poet and an important collector of art. Although not everyone rated Rogers' poetic talents highly, his verses were popular and he commissioned J.M.W. Turner to illustrate two of his poetry collections.
A National Gallery Trustee from 1834, Rogers bequeathed three works to the Gallery: Titian’s Noli Me Tangere; A Knight in Armour by an imitator of Giorgione and Ecce Homo after Guido Reni.
This is a replica of an earlier portrait dated 1835 and now in the Tate, London. Both versions are painted on wooden panel; the original version is slightly smaller. In each, only the face is painted to any degree of finish and the pose is identical. Linnell painted the original and the replica in the hope that he would find an engraver to produce prints from them, but he was not successful.
Samuel Rogers (1763–1855) was a minor poet and an important collector of art with an inherited annual income of at least £5000. He had a home in fashionable St James’s Place, London, which is almost certainly where John Linnell set this portrait, although the room and the large painting behind Rogers are too sketchily represented to be identifiable.
Not everyone rated Rogers‘ poetic talents highly, but his The Pleasures of Memory, first published anonymously in 1792, reached its 15th edition by 1806. The second edition of Rogers’ Italy, published in 1830, was illustrated by J.M.W. Turner. Rogers also commissioned Turner to design illustrations for the second edition of his Poems, published in 1834.
By 1833, when Linnell portrayed him, Rogers had already sat to eight other portraitists including Hoppner and Lawrence. A National Gallery Trustee from 1834, Rogers bequeathed three works to the Gallery: Titian’s Noli Me Tangere, A Knight in Armour by an imitator of Giorgione (then considered to be by Giorgione himself) and Ecce Homo, thought at the time to be by Guido Reni but now considered to be after Reni.
This picture is a replica of a portrait which Samuel Rogers neither commissioned nor owned, but for which he agreed to give Linnell several sittings in 1833–4. The finished original portrait is dated 1835 and is now in the Tate, London. In September 1846, Linnell agreed to sell the original portrait to his new patron John Gibbons but reserved copyright for himself and the right to paint a replica. Linnell’s journal indicates that he painted the original and the replica in the hope that he would find an engraver to produce prints from them. The sale of printed portraits of notable people was a good source of income for artists at the time. Unfortunately that wasn't to be the case with Linnell’s portrait of Rogers.
The original and the replica are very similar. They are both painted on wooden panel; the original version is slightly smaller. In each, only the face is painted to any degree of finish and the pose is identical. The National Gallery purchased the replica painting in 1926.
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