John Opie

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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John Opie was introduced to London in 1781 as 'the Cornish Wonder'. His style as a portraitist was marked by strong realism, and striking contrasts of light and dark. He was also known as a painter of historical and literary subjects, especially for Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery.
Opie painted many self-portraits, mainly to experiment with different styles of painting. This portrait was made at the time Opie was establishing his reputation in London.

National Portrait Gallery, London



John Opie




oil on canvas


H 74.3 x W 62.2 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased, 1858

Work type



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National Portrait Gallery, London

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