Richard Douglas, of Thirst, England, recently completed this portrait of John Wesley. Douglas’s paintings of early Methodists hang in museums in England and America—including the World Methodist Museum at Lake Junaluska, NC; London’s City Road Chapel; the New Room Museum and the Charles Wesley House in Bristol; Central Hall in London; and the gallery in England’s Old Epworth Manse. Dr. Douglas has also accepted commissions to paint portraits of contemporary Methodist leaders. Viewers esteem Douglas’s work for its originality, excellence, charm, and authenticity. Asbury Theological Seminary’s Library/Information Commons has on permanent display a number of Dr. Douglas’s paintings, including the portrait above.
Dr. Douglas based this portrait on an eighteenth-century sculpture of John Wesley by Enoch Wood, created during Wesley’s five visits to Wood’s home in Burslem. Wesley was 78 years old at the time.
In a letter to Adam Clarke, Enoch Wood wrote, “[The bust] was taken by me in the year 1781,with the greatest care and attention I was then capable of, in the twenty-second year of my age, having practiced the art from a very early age. [One] may with confidence rely upon every line, wrinkle or vein.” (From a letter in the archives at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary).