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    Portrait of John Barrow

    ca. 1840s
    John Barrow (1764 - 1848, British) , Naval administrator
    Stephen Pearce (1819 - 1904, British) , Painter
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    height (painting): 1280mm
    width (painting): 1030mm
    Content object
    Three-quarter length portrait of John Barrow, seated, wearing a black coat, waistcoat and tie over a high collared white shirt. His left arm rests on a chair-arm, the right on a table before him. He is seated on a red leather armchair with wooden scrolled armrests, his body angled to the left as viewed. The table, to the sitter’s right, is covered in green cloth and on this rests a set of papers and a letter opener on a red-lined blotter with a single yellow-paper bound book. Towards the back of the table is an inkwell set, with a stick of red sealing wax, seal and quill pen. A bookcase of large leather-bound volumes is used as background and immediately behind Barrow’s chair, a patterned hanging or tapestry.

    Sir John Barrow was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1805.
    Mr S. Pierce’s portrait of Sir John Barrow (165) and Lord Bertius (?) should be noticed as examples of faithful, manly and unaffected work. The Times June 6 1865
    Object history
    Presented by John Barrow FRS, c.1846.

    The gift of the painting was reported to the Council meeting of 15 January 1846 and recorded in the Society’s manuscript list of presents for the period. [Royal Society manuscript MS/418, Royal Society list of presents 1831-1849, entry for 15 January 1846]. This was in turn printed in the Philosophical Transactions. [“Presents received by the Royal Society, with the names of the donors from November 1845 to June 1846”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, vol.136 (1846) supplement p.9].

    The portrait was attributed in Charles Weld’s catalogue of 1860 as “Copy of a portrait by J.Jackson, R.A. (in the possession of John Murray, Esq.)”. The Jackson picture now in the National Portrait Gallery in London (NPG 886) is of a far earlier date. [Descriptive catalogue of the portraits in the possession of the Royal Society by Charles Richard Weld (London, Taylor and Francis, 1860), p.5]. A definite statement of Pearce’s hand appeared in the 1931 Catalogue [The Royal Society. Catalogue of portraits, June 1931, p.1] tempered in the 1940 Record to “Stephen Pearce, after J.Jackson”. [The Record of the Royal Society...4th ed (London, Royal Society, 1940), p.154]. Subsequent listings have attributed to Pearce only.
    Associated place
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    ©The Royal Society
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