Art UK has updated its cookies policy. By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. To find out more read our updated Use of Cookies policy and our updated Privacy policy.

George John (1758–1834), 2nd Earl Spencer

Photo credit: The Royal Institution

How you can use this image


This image is available to be shared and re-used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (CC BY-NC-ND).

You can reproduce this image for non-commercial purposes and you are not able to change or modify it in any way.

Wherever you reproduce the image you must attribute the original creators (acknowledge the original artist(s) and the person/organisation that took the photograph of the work) and any other rights holders.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find more images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.



Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer, was a Whig politician and held various posts in government. He was also a Knight of the Garter, an order of chivalry which is made up of the monarch, the heir to the throne and 24 companions. His rank is shown in the portrait by the star which he wears.

Spencer had a great interest in literature and early printing, amassing a collection of some 40,000 books. Alongside this he was President of the Royal Institution between 1813 and 1825.

The painting of this portrait, with the intention of it being donated to the Royal Institution, was organised by the artist and Michael Faraday in 1832. The elderly Spencer agreed to sit but due to his bad health the portrait took over a year to complete.

The Royal Institution





oil on canvas


H 78 x W 65.3 cm

Accession number

RIIC 0065

Acquisition method

presented by the artist, 1833

Work type



You can help us tag artworks on Tagger. The tags above come from the public, and also from an image recognition project run by the Visual Geometry Group, University of Oxford.

Normally on display at

The Royal Institution

21 Albermarle Street, London, Greater London W1S 4BS England

Not all locations are open to the public. Please contact the gallery or collection for more information
View venue