Richardson (London 1667 -1745) sometimes called "the Elder" to distiguish from his son (Jonathan Richardson the Younger) was an English artist, collector of drawings, and writer on art.

Jonathan Richardson the Elder is widely recognised as one of the most influential figures in the visual art of 18th century England.

As an avid art collector, Richardson prided himself on his expertise on and passion for Old Masters, which is reflected in his collection and expressed through his scholarship.

As an artist in his own right, Richardson studied under portrait painter John Riley, and continued to have a succesful career as a portrait artist.

During his retirement, Richardson wrote poetry almost daily in a collection titled Morning Thoights, produced between 1732 and 1736. These poems were dated to the day and in some cases on the hour, much like self-portraits.

Depicting himself with a long wig positions Richardson amongst the scholarly circles of his time, since a wig of this sort was indicative of his social status. 

Richardson also commonly portrayed himself wearing a soft hat in informal dress.

 

He died in Bloomsbury on 28 May 1745.

PORTRAIT OF RICHARDSON

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