Search the Collection

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (1676-1745), Prime Minister

Sitter in 27 portraits
Walpole was a Whig statesman but in all but name he was Prime Minister, 1721-42. He came to office in the wake of the South Sea Bubble crisis and built up British prosperity in a long period of peace by his economic reforms. He obtained more power than any previous minister and remained in office for over twenty years, resorting to bribery and patronage to overcome unpopularity. His reign came to an end when he was drawn into an unsuccessful war with Spain, which came to be known as the War of Jenkins' Ear. He was, however, made Earl of Orford in 1742 after his defeat in the House of Commons.

List Thumbnail

3220

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
oil on canvas, circa 1710-1715
On display in Room 9 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3220

2126

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by John Michael Rysbrack
terracotta bust, 1738
On display in Room 11 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 2126

70

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

studio of Jean Baptiste van Loo
oil on canvas, (1740)
On display at Palace of Westminster, London
NPG 70

D3761

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by John Simon, after Charles Jervas
mezzotint, circa 1725
NPG D3761

D5420

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by Gerhard Bockman, after Thomas Gibson
mezzotint, circa 1727-1742
NPG D5420

D5724

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by and published by John Simon, after Hans Hysing
mezzotint, circa 1727-1742
NPG D5724

D5725

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

published by John Cooper, after Unknown artist
mezzotint, circa 1727-1729
NPG D5725

D33120

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by John Faber Jr, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
mezzotint, 1733
NPG D33120

D19606

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by John Faber Jr, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
mezzotint, 1733
NPG D19606

D39366

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Arthur Pond
line engraving, published 1746
NPG D39366

D18696

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Arthur Pond
line engraving, published 1746
NPG D18696

D16747

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Arthur Pond
line engraving, published 1746
NPG D16747

D5417

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by George Vertue, after Christian Friedrich Zincke
line engraving, 1748 (1744)
NPG D5417

D5418

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

published by Silvester Harding, after Jonathan Richardson
stipple engraving, published 16 August 1800
NPG D5418

D5419

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

after Jonathan Richardson
stipple engraving, published 1806
NPG D5419

D17872

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford; James Wolfe; William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham

by Thomas Abiel Prior, after Unknown artist, and after J.S.C. Schaak, and after Richard Brompton
line engraving, mid 19th century
NPG D17872

D39362

To the Glory of the Rt. Honble. Sr. Robert Walpole (Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford)

by Paul Fourdrinier, after F. Dumouchel, and after J. Faget
line engraving, 1730
NPG D39362

Family Tree

Place

Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, something missing, or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have any information to share please complete the form below

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your nameclose

If you tick permission to publish your name will appear above your contribution on our website.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.