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Study for 'Patrons and Lovers of Art'

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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This is a preliminary study for Wonder's painting of an imaginary gallery hung with pictures from famous British collections. The portraits depict the main art collectors of the period. The composition celebrates the role of individual benefactors in the much celebrated foundation of the National Gallery (1824). On the left, kneeling in front of Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne, is George Watson Taylor (1771–1841), a collector of Italian Renaissance paintings. On the right, top hat in hand, is Sir John Murray (1768?–1827) who commissioned Wonder's painting. Next to him, leaning forward, is the Reverend William Holwell-Carr (1758–1830), a benefactor of the newly formed National Gallery. Behind them, holding his palette, is the artist himself.

National Portrait Gallery, London

London

Title

Study for 'Patrons and Lovers of Art'

Date

1826–1830

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 62.2 x W 47 cm

Accession number

792

Acquisition method

Given by Edward Joseph, 1888

Work type

Painting

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National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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