Portraits of John Wesley are common in Methodist churches, parsonages, and seminaries. Let's have a look at the artists behind several of them.
This work of oil on canvas was executed by Nathaniel Hone (1718-1784) in roughly 1766. He was an Irish painter of portraiture and miniature. Hone had no formal artistic education, but settled in London and was soon commercially successful. He was a founding member of the Royal Academy in 1768. Hone was an ardent proponent of Dutch, rather than Italian Classicism, which brought him into a number of personal conflicts with other RA members, most notably Joshua Reynolds. While Reynolds was President, Hone released for exhibition Pictorial Conjurer, a subtle attack on Reynolds' style. This painting alleged an affair between Reynolds and artist Angelica Kauffman. When this work was rejected from the Royal Academy, Hone responded by hosting a one-man show -- the first in the history of Western art.
Frank O. Salisbury (1874-1962) obviously did not paint Wesley from life, but his depiction is a commonly-known one. Salisbury, a native of Herfordshire, created portraits, murals, and stained glass. His career began meagerly in a borrowed attic studio while he worked as a bicycle mechanic. Eventually, Salisbury became one of Britain's most prominent portraitists. He reached the height of his prominence during World War II, when he became the quasi-official portraitist of the Anglo-American political elite. Salisbury adored America and eventually five U.S. Presidents sat for him.
I wish that I could make a bigger picture of William Hamilton's (1751-1801) portrait of Wesley (1788), but this is the best that I could do. Born in Chelsea, he trained in Rome, Zurich, and London. Hamilton exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1774 until his death, becoming a member in 1784.
George Romney (1734-1802), a native of Cumbria, was initially apprenticed as a cabinet-maker. He later studied painting under Christopher Steele and set up a successful portrait business. Seven years later he abandoned his wife and son to seek his fortune in London. After a decade of unhappiness painting only portraits, he left for Rome where he studied the Old Masters. Returning to London, he became a great commercial success by painting portraits at nearly the quality of Reynolds and Gainsborough, but at much lower prices. Although offered membership in the Royal Academy, Romney declined the recognition. He composed this depiction of John Wesley in 1789.