Peter Forsaith

Memberships (professional bodies)

F R Hist S Society of Archivists.

Career summary

Westminster College, Oxford 1995-1999.

Oxford Brookes University from 2000 (PhD, 2003).

Areas of interest / research

Religion and art in 18th century Britain, focusing on portraiture of the Wesleys and evangelicals, also extending to portraiture/images in the Methodist movement/church through 19th and 20th centuries.

Details of books/publications relating to your work on British portraiture


Image, identity and John Wesley; a study in portraiture (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018).


‘Beyond The True Likeness of John Wesley’, in Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, vol 62/2 (May 2018).

 ‘A visit to Fonthill, 1806’ in The Beckford Journal vol. 22 (2016), pp. 35-40.

‘James Smetham: Wesleyan Pre-Raphaelite’ in PRS Review, vol. XXIV/3 (Autumn 2016), pp. 55-65.

‘A far greater genius than Sir Joshua’; Did Joshua Reynolds (1723-1789) paint John Wesley (1703-1791)?’ in The British Art Journal vol. XVI/3, Winter 2015/16, pp. 103-109.

‘Preachers, prints and portraits: Methodists and image in Georgian Britain’, in Journal of Religious History, Literature and Culture (George Whitefield Tercentenary Essays special issue), December 2015, pp. 55-75.

‘Epistle and Gospel, the place of correspondence in the eighteenth-century revival of religion’ in Proceedings of the Charles Wesley Society, vol 24 (2010), pp13-23.

‘Pictorial precocity: John Russell’s portraits of Charles and Samuel Wesley’ in [eds.] Stephen Banfield; Nicholas Temperley: Music and the Wesleys [University of Illinois Press, 2010] pp150-163,also in British Art Journal volX/3 (Winter/Spring 2009/10) pp98-103.

‘Methodism and its images’ in T & T Clark Companion to Methodism [London,New York: T & T Clark,2010] pp350-368.

‘Permission, prohibition, patronage: a denomination engages with art’. Supplementary essay in Michelle Brown: Lion Book of Christian Art [Lion Books, 2008].

‘The curious incident of Susanna Wesley’s rosebud lips’ in (edited Norma Virgoe) Angels and Impudent Women: Women in Methodism, Wesley Historical Society Publications, 2007.