- Museum number
Portrait of Sir Joseph Banks PRS (1743-1820), T.Q.L., body full, head turned slightly to r., wearing the Star and ribbon of the Order ofthe Bath; on the table beside him a mace.
Oil painting on canvas
- Production date
- 1795 (after)
Height: 127 centimetres
Width: 101.60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The botanist Joseph Banks accompanied Captain James Cook on his round the world voyage of 1768-71 but was left behind on the second. The forceful Banks is seen here as President of the Royal Society, to which he was elected in 1778, with the Society’s mace donated by Charles II on the table. He wears the Star and ribbon of the Order of the Bath, to which he was appointed in July 1795. As President he became an ex officio Trustee of the Museum and donated ethnographical material, manuscripts and Icelandic printed books. His library was bequeathed on complicated terms after his death.
Sir Thomas Lawrence, in his day, was the leading portrait painter in England who painted almost every prominent person. This portrait is known to have been in the possession of the engraver and antiquary Samuel Lysons (1763-1819), Vice President and Treasurer of the Royal Society. It was given to the Museum by his brother Daniel Lysons (1762-1834), the antiquary and topographer.
The portrait was not displayed in the Eastern Zoological Gallery.
The portrait is published in Connoisseur, CXLVII, No. 592, March 1961, p. 115.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
Pamela Hartwell Room
Old Board Room
- Examined 2.iv.63. In reasonably good condition. Surface clean might improve the appearance.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Trustees’ Minutes 13 November 1819, c. 2738. Thanks ... To the Rev. Daniel Lysons for a Portrait of the R.H. Sir Joseph Banks Bart by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 86 coins, two celts and various other Antiquities. Book of Presents 13 Nov. 1819. There appears to be no correspondence relating to this donation in Original Papers.
Connoisseur, Vol. CXLVII, No. 592, March 1961 p. 114 – Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1806 ...(engraved) after a drawing by W Evans for Cadell’s British Gallery of Contemporary portraits, Vol I (1822), when the original painting was still described as being in the possession of the donor’s brother and collaborator Samuel Lysons, who had died in 1819.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number