Sir James Eyre (1734-1799), Chief Justice of the Common Pleas
About the work
This three-quarter length portrait of judge Sir James Eyre shows the sitter seated and wearing robes and a wig. His right hand rests on his leg, while the left hand is on a table. A print after the portrait, engraved by Valentine Green (1739-1813), was published in 1804, after the sitter’s death.
About the artist
Portrait painter Lemuel Francis Abbott was the son of a clergyman and was born in Leicestershire. He studied briefly with the artist Francis Hayman but was largely self-taught. By 1784 he had settled in London, where he became well-known for portraits of naval officers, his most famous sitter being Nelson (examples of his portraits of Nelson are in the National Maritime Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Scottish National Portrait Gallery). In 1798 Abbott was certified insane, according to one account the result of an ‘ill-assorted marriage’. He never recovered, although portraits by him were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1798 and 1800. Abbott died in Clerkenwell, London, in 1802. He is thought to have left a son.
- Sir James Eyre (1734-1799), Chief Justice of the Common Pleas
- Oil on canvas
- height: 125.50 cm, width: 100.00 cm
- Presented by Professor Arthur Goodhart, July 1961
- GAC number