During Matthew Boulton’s lifetime, having a portrait painted became accessible to a much broader range of people.2 Through the use of gesture, pose, dress, props, background and labelling, an artist could convey signals about the sitter for the viewer to interpret.3 Boulton was aware of this and had his portrait painted by different artists for different audiences, each signifying different messages about his role and status. Copies were made of some of those portraits in the form of paintings, miniatures and prints so that friends and family could own an image of Boulton. Prints, including portraits, also became more accessible to wider audiences as they were produced in large quantities by publishers like John Boydell.4 Print collecting was extremely popular in the middle and later eighteenth century; portfolio collections were kept by the wealthy connoisseur while framed prints were used as decorations in the homes of the middle classes.5 Having a printed portrait was the only way of making an image of a person available to large numbers of people and became more important as fascination with the famous grew.6 Portraits were reproduced as single sheet prints and as illustrations in magazines.7