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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue: York

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.

Contents Foreword Introduction Catalogue scope Abbreviations Arrangement of entries

Henry Benedict Maria Clement Stuart, Cardinal York (1725-1807)

Second son of James 'the Old Pretender'; created Duke of York; brother of Prince Charles whom he supported in the '45; returned to Italy, appointed bishop of Ostia and prefect of St Peter's, Rome; cardinal 1747; archbishop of Corinth, 1759; bishop of Tusculum, 1761; assumed title Henry IX, 1788; his residence at Frascati sacked by the French, 1799; fled to Padua and Venice; aided by George III, returned to Frascati, died leaving crown jewels (carried off by James II) to George IV.

435 Studio of Antonio David, c.1732
Oil on canvas, 25 ¾ x 19 3/8 in. (654 x 492 mm); dark brown eyes, light brown eyebrows, light grey wig falling nearly to the waist, young plump face; white neck-band, pale blue coat with silver lace and pale pink cuffs; Garter star and ribbon; light grey background, dark brown spandrels, lit from the left.

Formerly given to Largillière, NPG 435 is a studio quality version of a popular portrait of which numerous versions and copies exist. Signed and dated examples are in the Scottish NPG (888), [1] and in the Borghese-Aldobrandini family, both signed Ant. David pi Anno 1732. In addition, there are versions in the collection of Sir W. Williams-Wynn, and in the possession of Comte Guy de Villefranche, who states that the portrait was given by the sitter's father c.1732 to the Marquis de Villefranche. There is another at Lochinch Castle (Earl of Stair), and one described as after Largillière was at Sotheby's, 28 July 1967, lot 181.

For further discussion of artist and date, seeabove, Prince Charles (NPG 434). Briefly, there is a payment in 1729 'p. il Duca'. [2] James' letter to Lewis Innes of 8 November 1729—'You will probably have seen my son's [sic]pictures wh I sent to Mr. O'Bryen, they are very like, but look a little older than the life'—is connected by Miss Stuart-Wortley with the pair by David of Charles and Henry. [3]

Condition:rubbed, discoloured varnish; damages in background at collar level; polished 1876.

Collections:bought, 1876, from Alexander Fletcher with NPG 433, James Frances Edward Stuart, the 'Old Pretender', and NPG 434, Charles Edward Stuart, the ‘Young Pretender'. All were attributed to Mengs, as was a portrait of Maria Clementina Sobieska, also offered by Mr Fletcher, in addition to a portrait of Cardinal York, attributed to Rosalba. He stated that he purchased four of them at the sale of York's secretary, Count Malatesta, to whom it was believed they had been bequeathed by the Cardinal. [4]

Engraved: the type was engraved in reverse without the Garter ribbon and star, anonymously, in line (O'D 5).

129 After Pompeo Batoni (?)
Oil on canvas, 29 x 24 in. (737 x 616 mm); darkbrown eyes and eyebrows, lips just parted, short white wig, bluish jowl, pale complexion; skull cap, white lawn collar, rochet over scarlet cassock just visible beneath cappa magna, with ermine over chaperon; [5] letter in his left hand; a column, left; plain greenish-brown background; lit from the left.

The date is uncertain; 1774, suggested by Emmerling [6] but for no firm reason, seems too late for the apparent age. An engraving by P.A. Pazzi after an unnamed original and published, to judge from the lettering, soon after he received the cardinal's hat, appears much closer to his actual age. The face-mask of NPG 129 is in fact very close to the signed and dated Blanchet whole length of 1748 sold at Hamilton Palace, Christie's, 8 July 1882, lot 1116, and now in the Darnaway Castle collection. Although NPG 129 is likely to be an early copy rather than a product of the studio, the assurance of the presentation argues a Batoni original, albeit one not now known. [7] The only known reference is in the Stuart Papers. York sat to Duprà for a new portrait, which was copied by Batoni for Prince Charles, then in Paris, 'Pompeo at last has finished my Picture, it is finely done, but to tell you the Truth it is not well copied from the Originall . . .'. [8] Baton's copy was a miniature, paid for on 21 September 1744. As this was before York was made a cardinal, it can hardly be connected with NPG 129, and merely strengthens the case for postulating a lost Batoni type.

Condition:patch of discolouration in right shoulder; lined and restored, 1864; lightly cleaned and varnished, 1948; varnish now slightly yellowed.

Collections:bought, 1861, Christie's, 17 June, lot 19; the catalogue describes it as ‘Bought of Mr. Forster, who purchased it in Paris'.

378 Attributed to Hugh Douglas Hamilton, c.1786
Pastels on pale cream paper, 9 5/8 x 8 ½ in. (245 x 216 mm), laid down with red sealing wax on a wooden backing board, 10 x 8 7/8 in. (254 x 226 mm); dark brown eyes, light eyebrows, grey wig; scarlet skull cap and mozzetta, around the neck a silver pectoral cross on a small gold chain; bluish-grey background shading to brown; bottom corners not coloured.

Written in ink on the backing board: Card d' York. / Rosalba Carreir[a] / Pinxet. / Vide Museu[?] Fiorentino, e / Giornale della Medesima / Rosalba.;under this, faintly in pencil: Cardinal Himenes. [9]

In 1888, Scharf attributed this to Rosalba. [10] However, this is a typical example of H.D. Hamilton's work, and in 1938 Miss Stuart-Wortley discovered a receipt from him in the Stuart Papers at Windsor, dated 12 July 1786, for 'A Portrait of HisRoyal Highness the Cardinal York, 20 Sequins'. Mention in an account book makes it clear that this was 'in Pastella'. The payment is probably for two drawings, as an account of 3 ½ sequins, 13 October 1785, was for 'three Pictures of Madam the Duchess of Albany'. NPG 378 was probably done in Rome; Hamilton went to Italy in 1778 and returned to Ireland in 1791. There is another half length version at Stanford Hall (Lord Braye) purchased by Lady Braye in Rome in 1842 presumably from the Marquis Malatesta, the nephew of the sitter's executor and friend. [11] A good pastel version at Townley Hall, near Drogheda, was also purchased in 1842 from the Marquis Malatesta. [12] Although Miss Stuart-Wortley connected this receipt with NPG 378 it could refer to either of the other versions.

Condition:some losses in the face; the scarlets have faded; slight water stains up the right-hand edge.

Collections:bought, 1873, from B. Butterworth; seeabove, Prince Charles, NPG 376.

2784 By Gioacchimo Hamerani, [13] 1788
Silver medal, 2 1/8 in. (54 mm), diameter. Obverse:skull cap, mozzetta and pectoral cross; lettered round the rim: HEN∙­IX∙­MAG∙­.BRIT∙­FR∙­ET∙­HIB∙­/ REX∙­FID­∙­DEF∙­CARD∙­EP∙­TVSC,the lettering interrupted by the head and shoulders. Signed on the cutaway: G.HAM.F. in smaller capitals. Reverse:Religion holding the Bible and cross; a lion, a cardinal's hat and a crown at her feet; in the background St Peter's, the Tiber and Calvary; lettered round the sky: NON∙DESIDERIIS∙­HOMINVM∙­SED∙­VOLVNTATE∙­DEI and dated beneath: AN.MDCCLXXXVIII.

Gioacchimo, fl.1775–1800, was the last of the long line of Hamerani medallists who worked at the Papal Zecca for nearly two centuries. The medal was struck in the year of the Young Pretender's death and its iconography, suggesting the abandonment of all earthly things, is perhaps relevant.

Collections:given, 1935, by Sir Reginald Stubbs.

Literature:Egerton Beck, 'Ecclesiastical Dress in Art', Burlington Magazine, VIII, 1905-06; Ernst Emmerling, Pompeo Batoni, 1932.


Before his election as Cardinal, 3 July 1747 [14]

Medals of Henry Stuart and of his brother were struck in 1729 by Otto Hamerani. [15]

An early profile by Giles Hussey may represent him or his elder brother Charles. [16] Payments to David for portraits of 'the Duke' are identifiable from 1726 in the Stuart Papers; some of them are for miniatures (whether by or simply supplied by him is unresolved). His prices seem to have been thought too high. The earliest surviving type seems to be that by David, 1732, NPG 435, which was widely circulated. Liotard was paid 54 zecchini for three pastels of the King, the Prince and the Duke (i.e. Henry) and a miniature of the Prince in December 1737; none of these is now known. There are also payments for a miniature and an enamel in 1738. [17] A fine three-quarter length by Blanchet signed and dated 1738 in the Royal collection was formerly in the Hay collection, Duns Castle, Christie's, 25 March 1966, lot 82. A related whole length has come down to Mrs Colin Davy [Editor's note, 2014: now National Portrait Gallery]. [18]

Certain youthful types of Henry and Charles appear to be confused. A head and shoulders at Ingatestone inscribed Henry Benedict / Stewart / Cardinal / of York in which the sitter wears armour and the medallion of the Thistle, resembles closely the David of Charles, Scottish NPG 887. The companion portrait at Ingatestone, [19] inscribed Prince Charles Edward / eldest son of the / Chevalier St. George, with the sitter wearing the Garter, is very close to the David of Henry, Scottish NPG 888. Further, there are two other versions of the Ingatestone type of Henry. One, nearly identical, is called Charles and is at Hawthornden. [20] The second, at Dolben in the Williams-Wynn collection from Wynnstay, is also known as Charles; the sitter has the same head but his body faces the spectator. [21]

Two other portraits in armour are of approximately this date, foreshadowing no doubt the '45, in which Henry may have got as far as Dunkirk to encourage the troops. These are a type by Duprà of 1740 [22] of which there is a head and shoulders version at Keir, [23] and a three-quarter length engraving by Daullé, (O'D3) [24] reversed by J.G. Wille (O'D 4). The second is a half length in the Alba collection (74), [25] as by J.F. Parrocel, c.1742.

There were further sittings to Duprà in 1744 for a portrait of which Batoni made a miniature copy to send to Charles in Paris. In this Henry holds a miniature of Charles in his hand. He wrote to Charles 4 July 1744, 'I have sitt no less than four Owre for my Picture', and on the 17th, 'I believe dear Brother you will be pleased with my picture for the Originall [the Duprà] from whence it is to be copied tho' it be not quite finished yet is as like as two droppes of water. I have sitt allready for it about 14 Ours, but really with pleasure, it being for you'. [26] Henry was dissatisfied with the copy however and another had to be commissioned.

After his election as Cardinal, 1747

The following provisional grouping of the various types is suggested. Two differing three-quarter face types appear early in the Cardinalate. The first shows the head three-quarters to the left. Such is the whole length by Blanchet signed and dated 1748, from the Hamilton Palace sale, Christie's, 8 July 1882, lot 1116, now in the Darnaway Castle collection. Similar heads occur in an anonymous head and shoulders, Sotheby's, 2 February 1955, lot 146, as by Batoni; a cruder version, Christie's, 20 November 1964, lot 66, as by Ramsay (linking the type with the Batoniesque NPG 129); and possibly the rather primitive whole length at Frascati.

The second is another three-quarter face type associated with the hand of Domenico Corvi, c.1748, after whom a three-quarter length version was engraved by Campana. A portrait in the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Connecticut, as by Sebastiano Ceccarini, follows this design. [27] A head and shoulders in the Hamilton Palace sale, Christie's, 1 July 1882, lot 699, is now in the Darnaway Castle collection, and other examples are in the Scottish NPG (624) and Blairs college ('Historical Portraits', Aberdeen, 1859 (60)). A whole length which seems to relate to this type is in the Royal collection (652). A miniature by. Veronica Telli, née Stern, 1748, was at Christie's, 21 November 1967, lot 22. Another, with the sitter facing in the opposite direction at Traquair House, collection P. Maxwell Stuart, perhaps also relates to this type and to the engraving by Pazzi mentioned in connection with NPG 129.

After the Batoni type, NPG 129, there appears to be no sitting until c.1786when the H.D. Hamilton, NPG 378, was probably drawn from the life in Rome.

Finally, a third group of oils include the crown, and are likely to have been painted when he succeeded as titular claimant to the English throne on the death of his brother the Young Pretender in 1788. This type is a half length to the left with mitre and crown on a table, left. Known examples are with the Duke of Hamilton, as Batoni; the Countess of Seafield, Cullen House; and in the Alba Collection (75). These suggest a follower rather than the hand of Batoni himself, though they may be based on a Batoni design. The face-mask of the Duke of Hamilton's picture is near the Corvi type. The medal by Hamerani, NPG 2784, also dates from this period.


1. W. Pollard-Urquhart, then Monastery of Fort Augustus, thence (1918) to the Scottish NPG.
2. RA Stuart Papers, White Account Book marked ‘1726-1729. M. 35'; S-W, I, p.29.
3. S-W, I, p.33.
4. Correspondence from Mr Fletcher, 19 and 22 June 1876, NPG archives.
5. Beck, p.281.
6. Emmerling, pp.35-36.
7. I am grateful to Michael Levey for his comments on this picture.
8. Michael Levey, The Later Italian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen,1964, p.25, citing Miss Stuart-Wortley; seeabove, Iconography.
9. So read in 1914. The inscription is now even fainter.
10. Scharf, p.491.
11. Country Life, CIV, 1948, pp.1104-05, reproduced.
12. Ibid.
13. Forrer, II, p.399.
14. He may have been painted as Bishop of Ostia; the precise date of his consecration remains uncertain, but is believed to have been not much before this, cp DNB, IX, p.561.
15. Medallic Illustrations, II, pp.492-93; Forrer, II, p.408.
16. He is identified in the version in Mrs Mockler's collection by an inscription written in 1883, and that at Blair (Duke of Atholl), represented in the illustrated guide (Pilgrim Press, c.1959), pl.ii, is definitely identified as Charles. For location of further copies of this drawing, see above: Prince Charles, Iconography.
17. S-W, II, pp. 20-21.
18. 'NPE', 1867 (307), lent by the Earl of Orford, who also had the Blanchet of Charles, now in the collection of Mrs Colin Davy, according to the catalogue of its last exhibition, RA, 'Italian Art and Britain', London, 1960 (138). For payments, see Stuart Papers, White Account Book, 1738; S-W, II, p.21.
19. The Ingatestone pictures, at Thorndon in the 19th century, were slightly damaged in a fire: Petre inventory of Thorndon, March 1878, Large Dining Room, (84), (86). The inscriptions may have been added at a later restoration.
20. Reproduced The Weekly Scotsman, 7 January 1933.
21. Steegman, I (18, 19).
22. S-W, II, 1.
23. Reproduced A. & H. Taylor, The Stuart Papers at Windsor, 1939, p.108.
24. Scottish NPG, Watson Bequest; the Daullé engraving was apparently carried out mainly by Wille, cp Memoirs et Journal de J.G. Wille, ed. de Goncourt, 1857, I, p.93; cited S-W, II, pp.32-33.
25. Bequeathed by Cardinal York to the Duke of Berwick (Alba) along with the companion portrait of Charles (73) painted in Rome, 1742: Angel M. de Barcia, Catalogo de la Colección de Pinturas del . . . Duque de Berwick y de Alba, 1911. There is also an anonymous Italian portrait of Henry as Cardinal in the collection (75).
26. S-W, III, pp.2, 4, 6-7.
27. Christie's, 29 June 1934, lot 50 (as by Batoni).


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