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John Cowper, an Edinburgh beggar: 1756

An image of Painting

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


John Cowper, an Edinburgh beggar


Painter: Lizars, William Home (Attributed to)




History note: Mrs Clarkson Stanfield, who gave it to Charles Hargitt; Hargitt sale by his executors, Branch & Leete, Liverpool, 15-18 March 1881 (544); Mazzini Stuart, Liverpool; sold to Messrs Rayner MacConnal, London; anon. sale (=Rayner MacConnal), Christie's, 2 March 1934 (157), bt. Meatyard; bought from Meatyard's by Lord Clark

Measurements and weight

Depth: 6.5 cm
Height: 75.9 cm
Width: 62.8 cm
Width: 84.1 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1935) by Clark, Kenneth


Previously attributed to David Wilkie [1785-1841]

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

Oil paint

Components of the work

Support composed of canvas
Frame Height 96.8 cm

Techniques used in production

Painting (image-making) : Oil on canvas

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: John Cowper, an old soldier, now a Beggar in Edinburgh 1805 aged 87
  • Location: Verso, stretcher
  • Method of creation: MS
  • Type: Label
  • Text: Sir David Wilkie R.A. 544. Portrait of John Cowper. 29 x 24. "An old soldier, now a beggar in Edinburgh. 1808. [sic]. Aged 87". This inscription, evidently written by the artist himself, in on the back of the picture. Presented to Mr Hargitt by Mrs. Clarkson Stansfield.
  • Location: Verso, stretcher
  • Method of creation: Printed
  • Type: Supporting information
  • Text: 16 FS 34 (and other marks illegible)
  • Location: Verso, stretcher
  • Method of creation: White chalk
  • Type: Stencil
  • Text: 196 FV
  • Location: Verso

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: 1756
Primary reference Number: 4026
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 21 May 2021 Last processed: Tuesday 13 June 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "John Cowper, an Edinburgh beggar" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-29 17:22:02

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{{cite web|url= |title=John Cowper, an Edinburgh beggar |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-29 17:22:02|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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