Richard Roberts

1850 in United Kingdom

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Painting. [Richard Roberts 1789-1864] / c.1850. Oil on canvas, 76 x 63 cm. Portrait, HL slightly to L with papers and
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Portrait of Richard Roberts (1789-1864) about 1850, by or after Edward Villiers Rippingille. Oil on canvas. Roberts is shown half length, slightly to turned to the left, with papers and plans on the table to the left.

Roberts was an inventor and engineer based in Manchester. This portrait formed part of the Bennet Woodcroft Bequest, which was among the founding collections of the Science Museum. Woodcroft had developed a 'National Gallery of Portraits of Inventors, Discoverers and Introducers of the Useful Arts’ combining gifts, loans and purchases of portraits, while acting as the first curator of the Patent Museum.

An engraving of this portrait was made by Thomas Oldham Barlow in 1862 and included in the Portfolio of 'Portraits of Inventors of Machines for the Manufacture of Textile Fabrics with Memoirs' published by Thomas Agnew & Sons with an introduction by Woodcroft in 1862 (see BM 1186,1127.110 to 1186,1127.117). Text accompanying the engraving lists it as 'from the original picture by T. Rippingille in the collection of Mr. B. Woodcroft, Great Seal Patent Office'. However a version of the same painting was presented in 1868 by Thos. Agnew & Sons to Salford Museum and Art Gallery. Given that Woodcroft often had portraits copied for his Gallery it is now not clear which painting was used for the engraving.

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Object Number:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • visual and verbal communication
  • oil painting - visual work
Bennet Woodcroft Bequest

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