James Clitherow (1766-1841)
30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm)
(Dalton-in-Furness, England, 1734 - 1802, Kendal, England)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
George Eastman Collection of the University of Rochester
Location: Not currently on view
George Eastman Collection
Romney must have been well acquainted with James Clitherow as a young man: he made two portraits of him, as well as a replica, all within a span of a year. Clitherow, who had recently graduated from Oxford at the time this portrait was made, appears thoughtful and composed, demonstrating his erudition by holding a book. Newspaper accounts describe the portrait as having been painted for a price of just over £20.
Romney directs the viewer’s focus by sketching Clitherow’s hands and stock, or neckcloth, only loosely; he concentrates instead on the details of the head, coat, and chair.
[Gallery label text, 2008]