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Probably Dorothy, Viscountess Townshend

3 of 13 portraits on display on Floor 2: Getting the Picture at Beningbrough Hall

Probably Dorothy, Viscountess Townshend, studio of Charles Jervas, circa 1715 - NPG 2506 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Probably Dorothy, Viscountess Townshend

studio of Charles Jervas
oil on canvas, circa 1715
48 3/4 in. x 36 1/4 in. (1238 mm x 921 mm)
Bequeathed by Miss Lillie Belle Randell, 1931
Primary Collection
NPG 2506


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Artistback to top

  • Charles Jervas (1675-1739), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 39 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.

This portraitback to top

It was once thought that this portrait represented Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, the writer and traveller, who lived in Constantinople (Istanbul) between 1716 and 1718. We now know it is a portrait of the wife of Charles, 2nd Viscount Townshend. Like many aristocratic women of her time, Dorothy was not involved in public life nor did she travel abroad. Although she is shown in exotic fancy-dress, her identity as the wife of a notable husband is suggested by the miniature portrait on her bracelet. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1715back to top

Current affairs

Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke flees to Paris - following his part in secret negotiations around the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 - where he becomes foreign minister to the Pretender, James Stuart. First Jacobite Rebellion begins in Scotland against the rule of George I. The Pretender arrives from France. Total solar eclipse is seen across southern England; the last total eclipse visible in London for almost 900 years.

Art and science

Artist Jonathan Richardson publishes The Theory of Painting, credited with being the first significant work of artistic theory in English. Poet Alexander Pope begins his acclaimed translation of Homer's Illiad Architect Colen Campbell creates interest in the Palladian style in Britain with the publication of his Vitruvius Britannicus.

International

Louis XIV of France dies after seventy-two years on the throne. He is succeeded by his five-year old grandson, Louis XV. British build a permanent factory in Canton, China.

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