Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich

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Rear-Admiral Sir John Jervis, 1735-1823, Earl of St Vincent

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich
Gallery locationQH (Floor plans)
PeopleDepiction: Jervis, John

Object details:

Object ID BHC3001
Description A head-and-shoulders portrait, full-face, in a painted oval. Wearing rear-admiral's undress uniform 1787-95, and the ribbon and star of the Bath, the former worn inside his coat. The background has been painted as sky. In 1795, he was put in command of the British Mediterranean fleet, and in 1797, with Nelson as his commodore, led his forces to victory over a Spanish fleet off Cape St Vincent. Jervis was created Earl St Vincent in recognition of this achievement and he later became First Lord of the Admiralty, 1801-04. The sitter and the artist became friends and this is reflected in the directness, warmth and intimacy of this portrait, particularly notable since Jervis had a public reputation as a strict disciplinarian. The artist trained as a lawyer before entering the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 1772, where he may have studied with Johan Zoffany. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1776, and throughout his career he produced competent portraits since he had no shortage of clients. In 1793, he was named portrait painter to Queen Charlotte and undertook a number of royal commissions. His straightforward style perfectly suited the stolid and conventional taste of the Royal family. In 1795, John Opie described Beechey's pictures as 'of that mediocre quality as to taste & fashion, that they seemed only fit for sea captains & merchants'.
Date made 1787-1790

Artist/Maker Beechey, William
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Caird Fund.
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 762 mm x 635 mm; Frame: 952 mm x 827 mm x 104 mm; Overall: 14.4 kg;
  • Rear-Admiral Sir John Jervis, 1735-1823, Earl of St Vincent (BHC3001)
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