Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue: Greene

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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Maurice Greene (1695-1755) [1]
Composer; organist of St Paul's cathedral, 1718, and of the Chapel Royal, 1727; Mus. Doc. and professor of music at Cambridge, 1730; master of George II's band, 1735; a founder of the Society of Musicians (now The Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain), 1738; wrote settings to Pope's Ode on St. Cecilia's Day, Addison's Spacious Firmament, and many church anthems and songs.

2085 called Maurice Greene, by an unknown artist, 1737 or after
Oil on canvas, 29 x 24 in. (736 x 609 mm); grey eyes, arched dark grey eyebrows, long curved nose, rather pale complexion, grey wig; white cravat, dark green coat and waistcoat with lace and reddish-gold buttons; in an open stone cartouche with manuscript music top left and right, the former lettered Fl[orimel] below the second stave; brown background, lit from the left.

On the top bar of the stretcher a manuscript label reads: 27 April 1925/ Portrait of Handel/ (crossed through and Dr. Maurice Greene substituted) No 3 Case 1925/ From Lady Anderson/ The Manor Notgrove Bourton on Water Glos., and another label, older and nearly illegible: & Restored/ -Thomas/ -King St -/, with a pencil note, Bought from Chediston Hall Suffolk by [-]/ 1884.

Crudely painted, NPG 2085 was thought at one time to represent Handel. In 1909, however, Barclay Squire [2] identified the last two bars of music, top left, from Greene's Florimel composed 1737 (?) [3]for Love's Revenge (or Florimel and Myrtillo) by his friend John Hoadly (1711-76). Despite this link, identification remains uncertain. The iconographical content is low and the features are not easily reconciled with the one certain portrait in the Festing family, presumably descended through the marriage of Greene's only daughter to the Rev. Michael Festing, son of Michael Christian Festing who, with the sitter, was a founder of the Society of Musicians. If the sitter is not Greene, the allusion to Florimel has yet to be explained. The hint of a very big cuff suggests a date in the mid-'thirties.

Condition: old repaints now discoloured in the wig and some small damages to the background; perished varnish; some bituminous craquelure in the darks.

Collections: given, 1925, by Sir Alan Garrett Anderson who stated his mother had bought it in Suffolk some thirty years before. This would tally with the inscription Chediston Hall . . ., [4]the house in the vicinity of Halesworth, held in the 1740s and 1750s by the Plumer family. At the time of purchase, [5] the picture was owned, through a somewhat complicated descent, by a Mr Thomas Rant. [6]

2106 (with the Rev. John Hoadly), By Francis Hayman, 1747
Oil on canvas, 27 ½ x 35 ½ in. (698 x 902 mm); Greene seated left, writing: light brown eyebrows, grey eyes; large black cap, open white shirt with lace cuff ruffles, pink gown, black breeches and grey hose; on the table, to his right, the open score of PHŒBE. A Pastoral Opera. Hoadly, of paler complexion, in light grey wig and dark grey suit, leans on the back of a chair, a rolled paper in his crossed hands, his hat on a stool to his left; panelled interior with a high chimney piece on which stands a jar with an oriental figure; in front, a firescreen, with a strong shadow cast by the light admitted top left.

Inscribed in gold script, bottom left: Dr: J: Hoadly & Dr: Maurice Greene/ Composer to his Majesty./ Painted by Mr. Hayman. 1747; exhibition label, 1885, removed from frame to picture dossier.

The hand of NPG 2106 is undoubtedly Hayman's. Identification rests on the inscription—almost certainly of an early date—and on the identity of the figure on the left which, despite Hayman's tendency to make his sitters look alike, is recognisably close in features to the Festing portrait of Greene. The pink gown may allude to the doctorate of music awarded at Oxford in 1730. Phoebe, published 1748, was a joint work by Greene and John Hoadly, chancellor of Winchester and chaplain to Frederick, Prince of Wales, whose portraiture cannot be used to prove or disprove the identification since it has been confused with that of his brother Benjamin Hoadly, MD (1706-57). 'A Portrait of Dr John Hoadly and Dr Green, the celebrated Composer' was listed lot 37 in the Hoadly sale of 10-11 January 1812 which seems not to have taken place. The pictures, put up for sale again on 21 January, with the same lot numbers, [7] included lot 67 ‘Mr Garrick and Mrs Pritchard in the Suspicious Husband', probably the picture from the Mathews collection now in the Garrick Club [8] and later lot 53 of the Harris sale, 1819, when it was stated to have been in Hoadly's collection. The inscription Mr Garrick and Mrs Pritchard in the Suspicious Husband Act ye 4 Painted by Mr. Hayman 1747 is in the same hand as that on NPG 2106 which suggests that the latter may have been in the collection of John Hoadly passing, at his death in 1776, to his widow. Another version, now in the London Museum, was stated in 1858 to have come from Garrick's collection. [9] In 1781 Nichols noted that 'Mrs Hoadly has a scene of Ranger and Clarinda in The Suspicious Husband; and the late Chancellor repeating a song to Dr Greene, for him to compose: both by Hogarth'. [10] No mention of the inscription is made by Nichols but, assuming it was already there, this may be because he is recording Mrs Hoadly's views rather than his own observations. 'Mrs Hoadly' is taken by Nichols and Steevens [11] to mean John Hoadly's widow. [12] Piper suggests that the confusion originates with her, and for Hogarth we should read Hayman. No Hogarth is known. [13]

Condition: discoloured varnish; pin holes in corners.

Collections: bought, 1925, from Mrs Florence Street, possibly lot 37 in the Hoadly sale, 10-11 January 1812, marked £2/10/-, purchaser not known; in the Street family since at least 1886.

Exhibited: 'International Inventions Exhibition', Loan Collection, 1885 (103) lent by Mrs Street; 'Music Loan Exhibition', 1904, p.229, lent by J.E. Street.

Literature: W.A. Copinger, Manors of Suffolk, 1905-11; R.B. Beckett, Hogarth, 1949; J. Hayes, Catalogue of the Oil Paintings of the London Museum, 1970.

Appearance
. . . well below the middle size and he had the misfortune to be very much deformed'. [14]

Iconography
(i)    
Maurice Greene
The only certain portrait is the Festing portrait (discussed under NPG 2085, above) painted perhaps to celebrate a doctorate awarded in 1730. A portrait, engraving or etching, from the collection of J.S. Bumpus, the publishers, was in the 'Music Loan Exhibition', 1904. [15]

(ii)      the Rev. John Hoadly (1711-76)
Portraits are often confused with those of his brother Benjamin (1706-57), (q.v.), physician and playwright, with whom he collaborated in writing The Suspicious Husband, 1747. [16] Benjamin pre-deceased both his father and his brother John. A portrait by Hayman described as Benjamin Hoadly and his wife, in the Wellcome Institute of the History of Medicine, exhibited 'Francis Hayman', 1960 (11), shows a man with features not unlike the John Hoadly of NPG 2106. The lady is shown holding a mask which might be a reference to the brothers' interest in the theatre (as in Hayman's painting of Mrs Pritchard and Garrick); the sitter is perhaps his second wife Anne Armstrong of whom little is known. [17] A head by Hogarth in the Clumber sale, 4 June 1937, lot 37, now in the Smith Collection, Northampton, Massachusetts, signed and dated 1741, is catalogued as Benjamin Hoadly, the father, but might be John; whereas lot 38, now Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, also by Hogarth and catalogued as Pelham might well represent Benjamin, his brother. The short half length in Lord Malmesbury's collection inscribed on the back The Revd. Dr. Hoadly is another possible candidate for John. Portraits by Hogarth agreeing in features with Benjamin, the son, are the head and shoulders in the National Gallery of Ireland, signed and dated 1740, and the whole length in the Fitzwilliam; both were in the W. Benoni White sale, Christie's, 23-24 May 1879. Walpole noted at the Society of Artists, 1761 (47) 'Three portraits' by Hogarth, 'Dr Hoadley etc.'. [18] A group by Hogarth, formerly in the collection of Matthew Raper, FRS, FSA, of Wimpole Street, shows Benjamin [19] with the family of his first wife Elizabeth Betts.

Notes
1. In the parish register of St Olave's, the entry of his death is followed by 'aged 60', Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th edition, 1954, III, p.784, note 1.
2. Transcript and correspondence, NPG picture dossier.
3. Said to have been performed at the Gloucester Festival, 1745.
4. Copinger, II, 1908, under Barents.
5. Sale catalogue not traced.
6. Information from Miss D.M. White, Ipswich County Library.
7. Lugt (8099) and (8105).
8. Adams, p.118 (394).
9. Reproduced, Hayes, p.207.
10. Nichols, 1781, p.59. Information from H. Johnstone, 13 April 1963.
11. Nichols and Steevens, I, p.423, and index to II under Hoadly, Mrs.
12. John Hoadly married, 1735-36, Elizabeth Ashe, no further details known, Beckett, p.53.
13. Beckett, p.44.
14. A. Burgh, Anecdotes of Music, II, 1814, p.318.
15. Catalogue, p.247.
16. Cp also the account of Hoadly portraits, Beckett, pp.52-53.
17. Referred to as the daughter of General John Armstrong, Gentleman's Magazine, Part II, 1788, p.836.
18. Walpole Society, XXVII, p.68.
19. Nichols and Steevens, III, p.182.