David Garrick, Sketch,
The recent discovery of this remarkable drawing links three iconic figures of the 18th century. The subject is the legendary actor David Garrick (1717-1779 ), drawn from memory by Sir George Beaumont (1753-1827), painter and early benefactor of the National Gallery, on the blue painted wainscoting of a house belonging to Sir Joseph Farington (1747-1821), painter and diarist whose writing has informed much of our understanding of the English art world in the late 18th and 19th centuries.
Among Beaumont's earliest pictures to be exhibited at the Royal Academy was A View of Keswick (1779) and he went on numerous sketching tours to the Lake District over the course of his life. His portrait of Garrick was made during his visit there in 1778 where he stayed with Farington, who lived in Keswick from 1775-1780 and exhibited six pictures of the area at the Royal Academy in 1780.
Farington mentions the present portrait in his diary 27 June 1821: '..."Hayes called and inspected my toe. I spoke to him abt. His having the copy he had in his possession made by Cooke from Sir George Beaumont's sketch made of the late Mr. Garricks head on the wainscoat of my parlour of Keswick, and I informed him that Sir George had lately seen the Copy among a large collection of in the possession of Mathews, the Mimic Comedian. "Hayes sd. When the Copy was made from my original he had no intention to part with it, but being taken by Mr. Adolphus, the Barrister, to see Matthews collection of Garrickania he was afterwards induced to give him the copy to add to his store.
And again on the 28 June: '..."I told Sir George what Hayes had sd. To me respecting the Copy of Garricks portrait being given by Hayes to Matthews. Sir George ad. He might think it a credit to him to have the sketch so estimated.
If you require further information on this item you can contact us in a number of ways. Click here to see our contact information.