Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue: Granville

The following text is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977 (now out of print). For the most up to date research on the Collection, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text. This can be accessed by following the link with each portrait’s title.

In consulting the following, please note that apart from the reformatting which allows the printed catalogue to be made available on-line the text is as published in 1977. Footnotes in the original edition are given within square brackets.

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John Carteret, 2nd [1] Earl Granville (1690-1763)
Statesman; an authority on European affairs, and a German linguist, accompanied George I in Hanover, 1723, and George II during the Dettingen campaign; 2nd Baron Carteret of Hawnes, 1695; envoy to Sweden, 1719; secretary of state, 1721-24, 1742-46; lord lieutenant of Ireland, 1724-30; Earl of Granville, 1744, KG 1750; lord president of the council, 1751-63.

1778 Studio of William Hoare, c.1750-52
Oil on canvas, 49 ½ x 39 ¾ in. (1257 x 1010 mm), edges irregular; mid-brown eyes and eyebrows, long ageing face, grey wig falling behind his shoulders; ribbon and star of the Garter, black velvet coat, white neck-cloth and wrist ruffles, black velvet hat, inverted, in his left hand, gold sword; plain brown background; lit from the left.

Inscribed low on the left: EARL GRANVILLE / first appd. Secry.y of State / I720/21 Obt. 1763 / Wm. Hoare pt. Bath. On the back of the relining canvas, painted in black: 837A (crossed through), and 114C.

The head, though rather coarse, is not without quality; the rest is distinctly mechanical. A version with a landscape background appeared at Christie's, 14 February 1958, lot 85. Dating is based on the Garter which the sitter received in 1750 and on the reference in the inscription (posthumous) to Bath. Hoare moved to London in 1752.

Condition: slightly rubbed and flattened, retouchings in the background; outer left edge of the wig, and parts of the cuff, out of key but no pentimenti revealed by x-ray.

Collections: bought, 1916, for the Gallery by Leggatt, the purchaser, at Christie's, 10 July 1916, of lot 165 from the Penn family collection; Pennsylvania Castle, Portland, and contents, purchased by J. Meyrick Head in 1887, the family portraits including a pastel (lot 152 at the sale) of Lady Juliana, daughter of Thomas Fermor, 1st Earl Pomfret, who married Thomas Penn, son of William Penn. Granville married, 1744, as his second wife, Lady Sophia Fermor, sister of Juliana.

Appearance
Among many tributes by his contemporaries, Swift recorded that he was 'a most comely and graceful person', [2] and Horace Walpole noted: 'His person was handsome, open and engaging, his eloquence rapid and pompous.' [3] Chesterfield described him as 'a wild drunken Minister', but also ‘. . . one of the best speakers in the House of Lords . . . when he dies the ablest head in England dies too . . .'. [4]

Iconography
Walpole in 1771 [5] , Musgrave, 1797 [6] , and Lysons, 1806 [7] , list the family portraits at Hawnes, dispersed at Christie's, 1 May 1911. A portrait by Kneller in parliamentary robes, engraved by P. Pelham must date from between March 1721, when the sitter was appointed secretary of state, and 1723, the year of Kneller's death. Thereafter Granville does not seem to have sat again until the 1740s. A version of the seated three-quarter length, at Althorp, [8] pair with his wife and ascribed to Hudson, appeared at Christie's, 20 June 1947, lot 85, from the collection of Major J. Hanbury. It was dated 1744 and attributed to the portrait painter John Robinson (1715-45). A painting so catalogued, also dated 1744, was in Lord Winchilsea's collection, Burley-on-the-Hill, in 1937. Further versions of the Althorp type include one with the Garter collar added in the Clarendon collection; another, formerly owned by Sir Torquil Monro, at Christie's, 25 September 1942, lot 33, and a further smaller version bought, 1888, from the Hanbury Williams collection, now in the National Gallery of Ireland, exhibited 'Swift and his Age', Dublin, 1967 (23). Next comes the Hoare of 1750-52 (NPG 1778, above).

The later portraits show little difference in apparent age but the following provisional sequence may be established. The portrait at Longleat by D. Van der Smissen, 1757 was engraved by T. Major and by S.F. Ravenet, published in Smollett's History of England that year. The handling of another late canvas, Kit-cat size by an unknown hand, in a private collection, is reminiscent of a portrait of Sir Frederick Frankland dated 1755 and initialled A.P., at Christie's, 17 March 1967, lot 79 and again 11 April 1968, lot 31. [9] Though less free, it may prove to be by a Scottish artist rather than by Hoare to whom the Frankland portrait has also been attributed. A wax by Gosset is recorded at Bowood [10] and another example is at Ham House. A medal by Dassier is in the British Museum. [11] A miniature from Althorp, attributed to Zincke, was exhibited at the Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1889 (65, catalogue, pl.xxx), and another also from Althorp attributed to C. Boit, was in the 'Special exhibition of Portrait Miniatures', 1865 (928). A wax was lent by Isaac Falcke to the 'Royal House of Guelph' exhibition, 1891 (610). The family group noted by Musgrave in 1797, presumably lot 66 of the Thynne heirlooms sale, Christie's, 1 May 1911, as by Kneller, has since disappeared. Lot 44 of the sale was a 50 x 40 of Granville in peer's robes, holding a hat. A portrait by Vanloo called Granville, at Chevening (50), from Stowe, is closer to the 2nd Duke of Montagu (1690-1749).

Notes
1. His mother was created Countess Granville 1714-15 on the death of her nephew, 3rd Earl of Bath; GEC, VI, p.89.
2. GEC, VI, p.90, note a.
3. Ibid, pp.90-91, note e.
4. Ibid.
5. Walpole Society, XVI, p.70.
6. BM Add MS 6391, ff.2-3.
7. D. Lysons, Magna Britannia, I, 1806, p.93.
8. Exh. 'NPE', 1867 (259).
9. Cp the portrait of Richard Mead, in G. Wolstenholme and D. Piper, The Royal College of Physicians of London Portraits, 1964, pp.282-83, where ascribed to Hoare, c.1735-40.
10. Gunnis, p.176.
11. Medallic Illustrations, pl.clxiii (6); an example exhibited 'Swift and his Age', Dublin, 1967 (98).