John Whetham of Kirklington

Object Details


John Whetham of Kirklington


Joseph Wright of Derby (English, 1734 - 1797)




about 1779 - 1780


Oil on canvas


127 × 101.6 cm (50 × 40 in.)

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A landowner and country gentleman, John Whetham of Kirklington poses beside a border collie in front of a rocky background. He wears a green coat, a yellow waistcoat, and a fur hat and sash and holds a hunting spear. This costume, unusual for an Englishman, is a loose adaptation of a Hungarian hussar's military dress. Worn by John Whetham for a ball in 1779, this type of masquerade dress was also fashionable for portraits at the time, both because it forwarded the social aspirations of the English aristocracy and because it was timeless, outlasting changing styles.

about 1779/1780 - 1781

John Whetham, 1731 - 1781 (Kirklington, England), commissioned from the artist, about 1779/1780; by inheritance within the Boddam-Whetham family, 1781.


Boddam-Whetham Family, by inheritance to Major Sydney Alexander Boddam-Whetham.

- 1925

Major Sydney Alexander Boddam-Whetham, 1885 - 1925, by inheritance within the probably by inheritance to his wife, Mrs. Edith (Sibyl) Boddhan-Whetham, 1925.

about 1941 - 1985

Mrs. Daphne Margaret (Boddam-Whetham) Smith (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) [sold, Smith sale, Christie's, London, July 19, 1985, lot 98, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]


Ward, Humphrey, and W. Roberts. Romney: A Biographical and Critical Essay with a Catalogue Raisonné of His Works, 2 vols. (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1904), vol. 2, p. 103.

Hussey, Christopher. "Nuthall Temple Nottingham, the Seat of the Rev. R. Holden--II." Country Life 53, no. 1374 (May 5, 1923), p. 612.

Nicolson, Benedict. Joseph Wright of Derby, Painter of Light. 2 vols. (London: Paul Mellon Foundation for British Art, 1968), vol. 1, pp. 17, 34, 71-72, 205, 225, no. 139; vol. 2?.

Christie's Review of the Season (1985), pp. 52-53, ill.

Christie's, London. Important English Pictures. July 19, 1985, pp. 126-27, no. 98, ill.

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), p. 218, no. 125.

Egerton, Judy. Wright of Derby, exh. cat. (London: Tate Gallery, 1990), p. 77.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 136, ill.