George Romney Reframed

Permanent Display

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 Kendal, Cumbria, became one of the most celebrated and fashionable portraitists of his age.

In June 2018 16 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 was 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 west Cumbria, 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.


Caption: Philip Eglin La Nuova Religione (2008)


Further information
  • Open Mon-Sat 10.30am -4/5pm; open on Sundays until 8 September
  • Admission: Adults £7.50/£8.25 with Gift Aid, Children & students FREE; Joint Gallery & Museum £9.90 (£10.90 with Gift Aid); Sundays 50% discount for visitors from the CA or LA postcode areas upon proof of address (until 8 Sep); Friends, Patrons & Benefactors FREE; National Art Pass 50% Discount
  • Location: Abbot Hall, Kirkland, Kendal LA9 5AL
  • For more information please call 015394 722464