Robert Southey was a major literary figure of the Romantic period.

As a portraitist, Phillips found himself acquiring more important and influential clients which led to commissions for several portraits of literary figures for John Murray, replicas of which, as in the case of this picture, were often produced. This is a major portrait of Southey and should take its place alongside Phillips's better-known literary portraits which include Coleridge, Crabbe, Byron, Blake and Rogers. The Wordsworth Trust Centre for British Romanticism already houses portraits of many of the writers of this period, including some of Southey and his family.


Painted for the Duke of Newcastle; Sotheby's, 14/7/93, lot 63; with Agnew's.

Back to top