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Sir Frederick Haldimand

42 of 1413 portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Frederick Haldimand

studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds
circa 1778
30 in. x 25 in. (762 mm x 635 mm)
NPG 4874


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This portraitback to top

In June 1778 Reynolds was paid 35 gn. for a portrait of ‘General Haldeman’ and 25 gn. for a copy; in December 1779 he received a further 25 gn. for ‘General Haldeman, a copy’. [1] There is no Reynolds pocket book for 1778 and no sittings by Haldimand are recorded. It is not known who made the payments to Reynolds, but Haldimand was appointed governor in Canada in June 1778, and did not return to England until November 1784. The original portrait, now untraced, showing Haldimand without the Bath insignia, descended through Samuel Holland to C. D. Cahoon, Massachusetts, in 1913. [2]
It seems unlikely that NPG 4874 is one of the two replicas, although the condition makes it difficult to judge. Like all known versions it shows Haldimand wearing the Bath insignia to which he became entitled in September 1785; they were, therefore, either additions or indications of a version painted after 1785. Other versions are:
a) With the Haldimand family in Montreal since at least 1889. [3]
b) In 1968 in a private collection, descended from J. A. Haldimand through Henry Pasteur.
c) In 1872 with Mrs Sophia Romilly (1809-77), the sitter’s great niece; she then claimed to have the original portrait and said that the two replicas painted by Reynolds then belonged to her brother Mr Marcet in Geneva and his son Dr Marcet in London. [4]
d) Sold New York, 21 April 1971, lot 168; [5] formerly with E. C. Hogan 1872; [6] bought T. B. Walker 1905 for the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis MN; exhibited Pageant of Canada, Ottawa, 1967 (126).
e) In 1963 in a private collection, Norway; apparently a copy.

Footnotesback to top

1) M. Cormack, 'The Ledgers of Sir Joshua Reynolds', Wal. Soc., XLII, 1970, p 155.
2) Cf. D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.799.
3) Illus. J. Winsor, History of America, VIII, 1889, p 136, and recorded in the family’s collection in 1978 (NPG archive).
4) Letter to Scharf, January 1872 (NPG archive). Scharf’s sketch of the Romilly portrait (Sir George Scharf's Trustees' Sketch Books, 23/44) suggests it was that later on the London art market as Charles Townshend (photograph NPG archive, showing the same two buttons on the sleeve).
5) D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.799b.
6) According to later annotations made in Scharf’s sketchbook (Sir George Scharf's Trustees' Sketch Books, 23/44) this was also the Romilly portrait, but the details do not agree.

Referenceback to top

Mannings 2000
D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.799a.

Physical descriptionback to top

Grey eyes, white hair, wearing a white collar and neckcloth, and a lieutenant general’s bright red coat with dark blue lapels and gold trim, and the ribbon and star of the Bath; only the gold tassel of his epaulette is visible.

Provenanceback to top

Western family, Felix Hall;1 Lever Gallery, London, 1939; N. C. E. Ashton 1954 (when first offered to the NPG); B. E. Wheeler 1965; W. A. Fields, London, from whom purchased 1972.

1 Provenance as given by Mr Lever of the Lever Gallery (note of 20 December 1938; NPG archive). The mother of the 1st and only Baron Western (1767-1844) was dau. of William Bollen, Agent for Massachusetts; the last Western Bt. d. 1917; Felix Hall was damaged by fire in 1930.

Exhibitionsback to top

Georgian Canada, Toronto, 1984 (129).


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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