William Cuming, Irish, 1769-1852 and
Tilly Kettle, English, 1735- c.1786
Title: Portrait of James Gandon (1743-1823), Architect
Date: 1783-c.1796
Medium: Oil on canvas
123 x 98 cm
Credit Line: Purchased, 1965
Object Number: NGI.1783
DescriptionTilly Kettle, an English artist visiting Ireland in 1783, painted Gandon's face in this large portrait, but the rest of the picture was completed by William Cuming, an accomplished Irish portrait painter. In the picture, Gandon, the English architect, appears on the roof of the Parliament House (now the Bank of Ireland) in College Green, Dublin, holding architectural plans, including those for the Four Courts. In the background, a number of Gandon's designs are visible in the Dublin skyline, including the lantern of the Rotunda Hospital, the Custom House and the Four Courts themselves. Gandon also played a part in the design of the Parliament House.

ProvenanceJames Gandon; bequeathed to James Gandon, Jr.; Peter Thompson, Manchester; by descent, Mrs Maud Mary Rose, Devon; purchased, Sotheby's, London, 7 July 1965, lot 82
Exhibition HistoryIrish Portraits 1660-1860, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 14 August - 14 October 1969; National Portrait Gallery, London, 30 October 1969 - 4 January 1970; Ulster Museum, Belfast, 28 January - 9 March 1970
Label TextThe celebrated English architect James Gandon appears in front of a cityscape punctuated by some of his finest buildings in Dublin. The compressed view includes the Custom House and the Four Courts, both of which Gandon designed entirely, and the lantern of the Rotunda Hospital, which he completed. He may be standing upon the roof of the Parliament House, for which he designed the east portico. While Kettle painted the face during his short visit to Dublin in 1783, the ‘draperies and accompaniments’ were completed by Gandon’s friend William Cuming, an accomplished portrait painter in his own right.

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