Robert Vernon (art patron)
Robert Vernon (1774–1849) was an English contractor and businessman, known as a patron of art.
Vernon was a self-made man, a jobmaster, posting contractor, and dealer in horses in London in a large way. He amassed a fortune as contractor for the supply of horses to the British armies during the Napoleonic wars.
Between 1820 and 1847 Vernon collected about 200 pictures by living British artists, with a few by other European painters. On 22 December 1847 he presented a selection of 157 pictures from his collection to the nation. This collection was housed at first in Marlborough House; it was moved to the South Kensington Museum, and in 1876 to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. It was subsequently split between the National Gallery and Tate Gallery. He also intended to give money in his will to support art and artists. In the event Leicester Viney Smith inherited from the unmarried Vernon, changing his surname to do so.
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1899). "Vernon, Robert". Dictionary of National Biography 58. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Whittingham, Selby. "Vernon, Robert". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28247. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)