Admiral Robert Roddam, 1719-1808

A half-length portrait depicting Admiral Robert Roddam, 1719-1808, facing to the right. He wears a flag officer's full-dress uniform, 1767-83, and a wig. He was Commander-in-Chief at the Nore, 1778-83. The portrait’s artist, Abbott, had established his first studio in London around 1780. He painted relatively few women and seems to have specialised in male portraiture, finding particular favour among naval officers. Standing unsuccessfully for election as an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1788 and again in 1798, Abbott failed to gain admission to the inner circles of the artistic establishment but he was recognised for his remarkable skill in capturing likenesses. In his ‘Anecdotes of Painting’ (1808), Edward Edwards wrote that ‘the heads of [Abbott’s] male portraits were perfect in their likenesses, particularly those which he painted from the naval heroes of the present time.’ Suffering from mental illness, Abbott was certified insane in July 1798 and died in what was described by the diarist Joseph Farington as ‘a state of insanity’ in 1803. (Updated April 2019.)

Object Details

ID: BHC2968
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Abbott, Lemuel Francis
Date made: circa 1783
People: Roddam, Robert
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Painting: 764 x 632 x 15 mm

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