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Sir William Beechey, 1753–1839

Reverend Dr. Charles Symmons

Former Title(s):

Portrait of a clergyman in his academical dress [1794, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]

Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
30 3/8 x 25 1/4 inches (77.2 x 64.1 cm)

Inscribed, lower left: "Rev Doc [??] | [?] Symmons"

Signed and dated, lower left: "W Beechy Pinxit | 1794"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
clergyman | costume | curtain | man | poet | portrait
Associated People:
Symmons, Charles (1749–1826), poet and biographer
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

The Revd. Dr. Charles Symmons (1749-1826), who is shown here wearing academic dress (Oxford, D.D.), was rector of Narberth and Lampeter Velfrey, Pembrokeshire, two of the most valuable "livings" in the Welsh diocese of St. David's. Besides being a comfortably established clergyman and country gentleman, Dr. Symmons was a poet and a man of letters. He preached and published several staunchly whiggish sermons-including one at Richmond upon death of Charles James Fox-all in the hope of ecclesiastical preferment, evidently without success. He produced a weird tragedy called Inez, published in 1796; a dramatic poem called Constantia (1800); biographies of John Milton and William Shakespeare, as well as an impressionistic translation of the Aeneid.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2005

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 22-23, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

R. D. Harley, Field's Manuscripts, Early 19th century colour samples and fading the sts. , Vol. 24, No. 2, 1979, pp. 75-84, N8560 S82 (YCBA) Availalbe online on JSTOR. [YCBA]

Paul Mellon's Legacy : a passion for British art [large print labels], , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 3, N5220 M552 P381 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

William Roberts, Sir William Beechey, R. A., Duckworth and Co., New York; London, 1907, pp. 44, 46, 81, NJ18 B375 R63 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ol'ga Speranskaja, Portret getmana platova, Istorija odnoj nahodki [ le portrait de l'hetman platov Histoire d'une trouvaille ] , Pinakoteka, no. 5, 1998, p. 44-47, Not Available at Yale

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