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Paintings: G0603


James Middleton


Oil on canvas



Young Norval : Douglas; or The Noble Shepherd



Height: 78.7cm
Width: 66cm
height (frame): 85cm
width (frame): 72cm


Thomas Harris; Harris sale, Robins 12 July 1819 (13) (no character); Charles Mathews

Other number

Mathews 156
RW/CKA 461

Exhibition history

1833 London, Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street, "Mr Mathews's Gallery of Theatrical Portraits" (156) 1982-3 London, Royal Academy, "Royal Opera House Retrospective 1732-1982" (130)


“Morning Herald” 22 March 1794; Hayes 1968

Young Norval has just been told by Lady Randolph that his father was the brave and noble Douglas, and furthermore that she is his mother, parted from him on the day of his birth. The painting shows the moment just after that shown in G0305. Young Norval wears a blue and green plaid jacket, with a red, green, and yellow plaid over his left shoulder, and a tall black fur hat with a green and red plaid band around it and black feathers.
Although the “Morning Herald” for 22 March 1794 stated that Middleton had been painted as Young Norval, there is no record of his having played the part in London. His single recorded appearance in “Douglas” was as late as 26 October 1796, when he played Lord Randolph.
  • 2024
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