Sir Francis Grant (1803-1878)

Mary Grant (1831-1908)

1866

Plaster cast of bust, 26 1/2 in. (673 mm) high

© copyright, National Portrait Gallery, London

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According to the National Portrait Gallery's own brief biography, Sir Francis "first made his reputation as a painter of sporting subjects; subsequently established himself as the most successful and fashionable portraitist of his time; elected President of the Royal Academy, 1866." No doubt the artist would have been pleased with this likeness by his sculptor niece Mary. He had expressed the view that portraits should be painted not simply with with "truth to nature," but with "taste and refinement. A portrait which may be a strong resemblance, and yet replete with vulgarity, is simply an abomination" (qtd. in Lambourne 73). NB. A squared off bust like this ("the classical herm type," Read 171) avoided the question of whether to put the sitter in classical robes or modern dress.

Image download, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee.

[Copyrighted image generously licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence]