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Painting - David Garrick as Tancred in <i>Tancred and Sigismuna</i> by James Thomson
  • David Garrick as Tancred in Tancred and Sigismuna by James Thomson
    Worlidge, Thomas, born 1700 - died 1766
  • Enlarge image

David Garrick as Tancred in Tancred and Sigismuna by James Thomson

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    1752 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Worlidge, Thomas, born 1700 - died 1766 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Rev. Alexander Dyce

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Three quarter length portrait of David Garrick in costume as Tancred in 'Tancred and Sigismuna'. Garrick's costume consists of a red hussar's tunic with silver braid and tassels. Over his left shoulder he wears a dark blue short cloak with silver braid and tassels and a white fur border. The dark fur hat has a red and silver tassel.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (painted)


1752 (made)


Worlidge, Thomas, born 1700 - died 1766 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

oil on canvas


Height: 23.5 in estimate, Width: 19.5 in estimate

Object history note

Bequeathed by Rev. Alexander Dyce, 1869

Bequeathed to the Department of Science and Art, South Kensington Museums in 1859 by the Reverand Alexander Dyce. The painting was bequeathed as part of the Dyce collection of 3347 works of art, including paintings, miniatures, watercolours and prints as well as his library of 14,000 volumes.

Reverend Alexander Dyce (1798-1869), literary scholar and art collector, was the son of a major, later lieutenant general in the Madras infantry of the East India Company. Raised by two maternal aunts in Aberdeen following his parent’s departure for India in 1799, Dyce read classics at Exeter College, Oxford. At his father’s insistence he was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1823, having rejected a career in the East India Company. He developed a career in publishing by translating Greek texts. However he is probably best known for his editions of sixteenth and seventeenth century poetry. Dyce collected many rare books covering English, Italian and Classical literature. His collection of paintings and works on paper is very varied. In his collection of paintings, Dyce indulged his enthusiasm for the theatre, acquiring portraits of leading actors, while his drawings collection focuses on Old Master drawings from European schools. The Dyce bequest was one of the earliest of a collection of fine art given to the museum. It followed the Sheepshanks collection, which was given to the museum two years earlier in 1857. While the Sheepshanks collection was mainly of contemporary Victorian art, Dyce’s collection focused on British eighteenth and early nineteenth art as well as paintings from Italian, Dutch and Flemish Schools. This bequest therefore helped to broaden the collection, which the museum was already beginning to do by purchasing works from British and Continental Schools.

Historical significance: Thomas Worlidge (1700-1766) portrait painter and etcher. He studied with the Geonese painter Alessandro Maria Grimaldi (1659-1732) and with Grimaldi's son Alexander (1714-1800). In 1736 he is documented working as a glass painter in Birmingham. Following his marriage to Grimaldi's daughter, Arabella, he returned to London in the late 1730s and settled in Covent Garden. Possibly because of his proximity to the theatres, Worlidge began to paint a number of theatrical portraits. These were often copied in etchings as well as porcelain figures. His most popular works were portrait heads executed in miniature, pencil, crayon and oil, which were particularly popular with the fashionable Bath society. Worlidge also became well known as an etcher, particularly for his pastiches of those by Rembrandt (1606-1669). Often his etchings were mistaken for those by the Dutch artist.

Descriptive line

Painting entitiled "David Garrick as Tancred in 'Tancred and Sigismuna' by James Thomson" , by Thomas Worlidge, 1752.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ashton, Geoffrey. Catalogue of Paintings at the Theatre Museum, London. ed. James Fowler, London : Victoria and Albert Museum, 1992. 224p. ill. ISBN 1851771026


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting


Paintings; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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