- Museum number
Portrait of David Garrick, the actor, bust, in profile to right, on a pedestal in a trompe l'oeil niche
Brush drawing in grey wash, with pen and ink and watercolour, over graphite
- Production date
Height: 286 millimetres
Width: 222 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The following is the entry on this drawing in S. Lloyd and K. Sloan, 'The Intimate Portrait', SNPG and BM, 2008-9, no. 163, p. 220:
Charles Burney (1757-1817), the second surviving son of the historian of music of the same name, was expelled from Cambridge for stealing books from the library and finished his degree elsewhere. He became a successful schoolmaster in London and classical scholar and was ordained in 1808. His greatest achievement was the library he amassed which was purchased for the nation after his death. Mostly classical texts, it also included 400 volumes of material on the English stage, including newspaper clippings, prints, playbills etc. with which he intended to write a history of the theatre. This drawing is one of three watercolours relating to the actor David Garrick (1717-79) that were removed from one of the volumes still in Prints and Drawings (the rest are now in the British Library). The other two drawings are a portrait of Garrick after de Loutherbourg (Ee.3.71) and a watercolour by Edward Francis Burney of a 'Garrick memorial concert' (Ee.3.245). J. T. Smith recorded that Mrs Garrick visited the Print Room in 1821 in order to look over the portraits of Garrick collected by Dr. Burney (I, 159).
David Garrick was part-owner and manager of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, from 1747 onwards and also a collector of books, paintings and prints. He left his collection of plays and Roubiliac's statue of Shakespeare to the British Museum but his print collection of British and foreign portraits was sold in 1825. His portrait was painted, drawn, engraved and sculpted by many artists: the bust here was made by Joseph Nollekens and belonged to Earl Spencer, another great bibliophile and collector.
Edward Francis Burney was Charles Burney's cousin. His portrait was one of the series drawn by Edridge (now in BM) who sensitively captured the quiet and shy nature of this artist best known as the illustrator of Charles's sister Fanny's novel Evelina. The portrait takes the form of a classical memorial, set in a wash frame that forms a trompe-l'oeil niche, the bust turned away from the viewer to emphasize the actor's profile. It is not inscribed with the name of the sitter, sculptor or artist and is not known to have been engraved, making it likely that this was a personal and private commission from the artist's cousin Charles for his collection.
SELECTED LITERATURE: J. T. Smith, 'Nollekens and his Times', 1828.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2008/9 Oct-Jan, Edinburgh, SNPG, 'The Intimate Portrait', no.163
2009 Mar-May, London, BM, Room 90, 'The Intimate Portrait'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- In 1818 the library of the late Charles Burney, D.D., was purchased by Parliament and deposited in the British Museum. Thirteen volumes of prints and drawings of theatrical interest were transferred to this Department, volume 11 containing 302 portraits and material related to David Garrick. Three drawings by Burney have been removed and place with the mounted drawings (EE.3.71, 245, 251).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number