George Romney Reframed
One of the world’s greatest portrait painters is honoured in his home town with a new exhibition and fresh appraisal of his work. George Romney (1734-1802), of Dalton-in-Furness, became one of the most celebrated and fashionable portraitists of his age.
In June 2018 sixteen of his portraits went on show at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, alongside contemporary portraiture of all forms - including a ceramic ‘bucket’ featuring football star Cristiano Ronaldo.
This is the first significant re-hang of Romney works at Abbot Hall in more than two decades. The Romney display also features early sketchbooks by the artist - thought to be on show for the very first time.
Born in Dalton-in-Furness, Romney was a young cabinet maker who created portraits of local Cumbrian gentry. In 1762 he moved to London. Leaving his wife and children behind, he pursued a career that saw him rise to become one of the most celebrated and fashionable portraitists of his age.
Abbot Hall Art Gallery has re-displayed Romney works along with a revealing narrative on the inspiration behind some of the portraits. Masterpieces on show include Portrait of Captain Robert Banks (1759-60), and The Four Friends (1796).
In the next room is contemporary portraiture including David Bomberg's Portrait of Jimmy Newmark (1943), Keith Vaughan, The Bather (1960), LS Lowry Man in Doorway (1966) and Philip Eglin's La Nuova Religione (2008) ceramic bucket.