Portrait of a Gentleman Wearing a Red Satin Coat and a White Stock

Jonathan Richardson Senior
(1664/5 – 1745) British
Title Portrait of a Gentleman Wearing a Red Satin Coat and a White Stock
Category Recently Sold
Medium & Size Oil on canvas: Oval 30 ½ x 25 ¼ in.Frame:38x33 in.
Price Band £5,000 - £10,000
Location Please Refer

Jonathan Richardson Senior was born in London. His father died when he was a child and he was apprenticed to a scrivener. The retirement of his master enabled him to be released before the completion of the apprenticeship and he decided to take up painting.

He went on to study under John Riley from 1688 until Riley’s death 1691. He became Riley’s heir and married his niece.

Most of his known works date from after 1700, and his style was halfway between Riley and Kneller.  He went on to establish an extremely successful practice and owned an important collection of old master drawings (many of which were bought after his death by Hudson, then Reynolds and finally by Lawrence). He published The Theory of Painting, 1715 which influenced E. Burke’s theories on the sublime; and, with his son, an account of the works a tourist should see in Italy, 1722 – both works were immensely influential, inspiring Reynolds with the desire to become a painter, and providing him with a clear vision of the foundation of an English School.

Richardson helped found the 1711 Academy.

Among his pupils were Jonathan Richardson Jnr, George Knapton, Thomas Hudson (who married one of his daughters), Giles Hussey and John Michael Williams.

Richardson died in London on 25 May 1745 and is buried in the churchyard of St George the Martyr, Bloomsbury.

Waterhouse writes, “His works are sound, solid, good likenesses, and unpretentious”.


Works Represented: National Portrait Gallery London; Scottish National Portrait Gallery; City Estates Committee, Bristol; Manchester City Art Gallery; Society of Antiquaries; The British Museum; College of Arms London; Warwick Castle.


Bibl: Dictionary of Portrait Painters – Brian Stewart & Mervyn Cutten

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