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Robert William Sievier, Bust Portrait of Wynn Ellis MP

Key facts
Full title Bust Portrait of Wynn Ellis MP
Artist Robert William Sievier
Artist dates 1794 - 1865
Date made before 1843
Medium and support White Carrara marble
Dimensions 78 × 52 × 26 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by H. Churchill, 1878
Inventory number NG2239
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Bust Portrait of Wynn Ellis MP
Robert William Sievier

Wynn Ellis MP (1790–1875) was the National Gallery’s greatest benefactor in the second half of the nineteenth century. He made his fortune in the silk trade and sat in the House of Commons as Liberal MP for Leicester from 1831 to 1834.

He began buying paintings in the mid-1820s and had a strong liking for Dutch art. After his death, it was reported that his collection numbered some 800 pictures. Wynn Ellis bequeathed to the Trustees of the National Gallery the right to select as many paintings as they wanted from a list of 403 ‘ancient’ pictures. The Trustees eventually chose 94 works, mainly by Flemish, Dutch, German, Italian and French artists.

This was the second of two marble busts Ellis commissioned from Sievier. He had rejected the first but was clearly pleased with this one as he allowed it to be exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1843 opposite Sievier’s bust of Mrs Ellis (now untraced).

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