Herschel family, The Herschels as collectors, Oil paintings, Fine art

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Sir William Herschel (1738-1822)

Herschel family

Object connections:

Collection Herschel family, The Herschels as collectors, Oil paintings, Fine art
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Herschel, William

Object details:

Object ID BHC2359
Description The original Artaud portrait was commissioned by William Herschel's son, John Frederick William Herschel in 1819. This oil on canvas copy was made from a painting commissioned by Bertie Greatheed, a friend of the family, while another, now in the collections of the Royal Astronomical Society, was ordered by Caroline Herschel. It shows William aged 81 in a plain jacket wearing the ribbon of the Royal Guelphic order. The Royal Guelphic Order was an order of Chivalry introduced by the Prince Regent (later George IV). Guelphic refers to the House of Guelph to which all the Hanoverian kings belonged, and would have had special significance for William Herschel since he, like the kings, was originally from Hanover. The original portrait was a definite success, inspiring both Caroline Herschel and Bertie Greatheed to commission exact copies for themselves as well as 25 lithographs, which Caroline ordered from J. Giére to distribute among her friends and acquaintances in 1835; a photograph of the Giére lithograph which Alexander Stewart Herschel used to illustrate a New Year card in 1900; a number of autotype copies ordered by Constance Lubbock (nee Herschel) and her husband and an engraving by F. Leist presented by the RAS to the ROG in 1939.
Date made 1820

Artist/Maker William Artaud
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Herschel Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Frame: 1001 mm x 871 mm x 126 mm;Painting: 762 mm x 635 mm
  • Sir William Herschel (1738-1822) (BHC2359)
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