Richard Sainthill (1787 - 1870)


'Richard Sainthill' by Richard James Lane, after Daniel Maclise, 1852 (January 1830). Given by Austin Lane Poole, 1956, NPG D21930. © National Portrait Gallery, London

Richard Sainthill by Richard James Lane, after Daniel Maclise, 1852 (January 1830)

Lithograph, 7 7/8 in. x 5 1/2 in.

Given by Austin Lane Poole, 1956

NPG D21930

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Richard Sainthill was a Cork-born wine-importer, antiquarian, and collector who had a particular interest in coins and medals. He published two volumes of a book on coins called An Olla Podrida in 1844 and 1853.

Sainthill became aware of Maclise’s artistic skill after seeing a drawing by the young artist hanging in the cobbler shop owned by the Maclise family. He became an active patron of Maclise’s and sparked his interest in antiquarian studies by providing him with a studio in the attic of his home and allowing him to draw from his large collection of historic artefacts. Antiquarian studies were an enduring interest of Maclise for the rest of his artistic career.

Sainthill secured a number of portrait commissions for Maclise and introduced him to the folklorist and antiquarian, Thomas Crofton Croker. Crofton Croker, who was based in London, became Maclise’s patron when he moved to London in 1826 to study in the Royal Academy.