James Watt

1792 in United Kingdom
Carl Fredrik von Breda

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Painting, Portrait of James Watt, by Carl Fredrik von Breda, 1792. Oil on canvas; 127 x 102 cm in frame 140 x 115 x 5.5 cm. Signed and dated blc. One of three known versions of an oil painted by Carl Fredrik von Breda upon a visit to Boulton and Watt in Birmingham in 1792, probably in the company of the engineer John Rennie and to his commission. Others are in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers London, and the National Portrait Gallery London. A version exhibited at the Royal Academy London, 1793 (cat. 211). This is the earliest known portraiture of Watt who is seated nearly WL towards the left, head resting on his right hand; he looks contemplatively beyond the table to his right on which lies a drawing of a rotative beam engine with condenser of the type produced in 1788 or later, with a wooden frame similar to that used by Rennie in 1792.


Object Number:
frame: 1400 mm x 1150 mm x 55 mm,
image: 1270 mm x 1020 mm
  • visual and verbal communication
  • oil painting - visual work
  • visual and verbal communication

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