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A Dwarf

Photo credit: Royal College of Physicians, London

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This portrait is thought to show Richard Gibson (1615–1690), a celebrated artist and miniaturist. Gibson’s birthplace is uncertain, but he was first employed as a page to ‘a Lady at Mortlack’ (or Mortlake) who noticed his talent for drawing and apprenticed him to Francis Cleyn (c.1582–1658) at Mortlake tapestry works. His future wife, Ann Sheppard (married 14 February 1641) was also in this household. Both Gibson and his wife were of short stature. Gibson’s height was 3 feet 10 inches (117cm). Gibson moved in exalted circles and became wealthy and eminent, signing his paintings ‘RG’ and ‘DG’ (Dwarf Gibson). He was associated with the courts of Charles I, Charles II and James II, who appointed him drawing master to his daughters, Mary and Anne.

Royal College of Physicians, London



A Dwarf


19th C


oil on canvas


H 73.6 x W 60.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from Dr E. C. Carter, 1950

Work type



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Royal College of Physicians, London

11 St Andrew's Place, Regent's Park, London, Greater London NW1 4LE England

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