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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue: James

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

Prince James (1688-1766)

James Francis Edward Stuart, 'The Old Pretender'; only son of King James II; titular Prince of Wales, secretly conveyed, 1688, to France, with his mother Mary of Modena; on his father's death at St Germain, proclaimed King of England, 1701; attempted landings in Scotland in 1706 and 1708; fought with distinction on the French side at Oudenarde and Malplaquet; in 1715 landed at Peterhead but fled before Argyll to Montrose and returned to Bar-le-Duc; went to Madrid and Rome where he married, 1719, Princess Maria Clementina Sobieska; forfeited much support by his ill treatment of her; gave financial help to the '45; died in Rome.

976 With his sister Louisa Maria Theresa (1692-1712), by Nicholas De Largillière, 1695. [1]
Oil on canvas, 75 x 56 ½ in. (1905 x 1435 mm); James, left, in scarlet with blue Garter ribbon over his left shoulder, his right hand on the head of a large hound; Louisa in high lace head-dress, white dress and train, a sprig of orange blossom in her left hand; behind her, right, a large stone vase with orange blossom tree and a bird; a dog, bottom right.

Inscribed on the vase: IACOBVS WALLIÆ PRINCEPS / an. æt 7o. / LVDOVICA PRINCEP / an æt 3 o. N. de Largillierre / pinxit / 1695.

In addition to NPG 976, full size versions are in the Uffizi; in the collection, since 1965, of HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and of Mr and Mrs T. Loman, California. One was apparently among the forty family pictures sent to Florence in 1785. [2] The Uffizi version, [3] listed in the 1890 inventory, may well have been there since the 18th century while the Queen Mother's, at Sotheby's, 10 February 1965, lot 90, may be from the Hamilton collection, Christie's, 8 July 1882, lot 1110, possibly painted for the Jacobite supporter James, 4th Duke of Hamilton (1658-1712). A small copy, formerly in the Bernal collection and subsequently at Clumber, was last seen at Christie's, 23 November 1962, lot 57. Among separate copies of the figures of the Prince and Princess a three-quarter length of the Princess was lent by Sir R.T. Gerard to the 'NPE' 1867 (197) and a half length of the sitter was at Sotheby's, 9 May 1951, lot 109.

Condition: Surface cleaned and varnished on acquisition, 1895; the heads appear at some stage to have been cut from the canvas.

Collections: received, 1895; bequeathed by the trustees of Horatio William, 4th Earl of Orford (1813-94); believed by his executors to have belonged to the Duchesse de Berry and to have been in Venice but not identifiable among her pictures from the Vendramini Palace, sold at the Hotel Drouot, 19 April 1865, and days following. [4]

Engraved: by J. Smith (CS 247), and by Drevet, separate figure of the Prince, half length.

Exhibited: ‘NPE', 1867 (213); 'Royal House of Stuart', 1889 (209); 'Höfische Bildnisse des Spätbarock', Berlin, 1967 (29).

348 Studio of Alexis Simon Belle, c.1712
Oil on canvas, 31 ¾ x 24 ¾ in. (807 x 628 mm); thick dark eyebrows, brown eyes, full lips, long face, heavy jutting chin, high grey wig with bunched curls falling in front of his right shoulder; white lace cravat, a cuirass lined with crimson velvet over a coat, originally light grey but now green with discoloured varnish, blue Garter ribbon over the cuirass; plain blue-grey background; lit from the left.

One of several portraits of this type, engraved half length by F. Chéreau and lettered 1712. A variant with head very similar but the body turned to the left, at Christie's, 25 February 1966, lot 22, from the Northwick Park collection, is inscribed on the back as painted at Bar-le-Duc in 1714. The handling of NPG 348 suggests it is not from life. It is, however, extremely competent in style, and markedly French. On comparison with Chéreau's engraving it seems likely to have been produced under Belle's supervision at about the same time as his portrait of James's sister Princess Louisa (q.v. below, NPG 1658), also engraved by Chéreau. Other three-quarter lengths, without the Garter ribbon, are in the Musée de Versailles and in the collections of Lord Rosebery and the Comte Arnaud de Montesquiou-Fezensac, formerly at Standish Hall. A number of miniatures based on the type include NPG 273 (seebelow). A pair with a lady described as Princess Sobieska, but probably the Princess Louisa, was at Sotheby's, 1 May 1958, lot 36; it is closer to the portrait of Princess Louisa by Belle. A similar but probably separate type shows James turned to the left, with drapery in place of the right arm. Inscribed as painted by Belle, January 1717, the portrait was lent by Lord Elphinstone to the 'Royal Stuart' exhibition, Edinburgh, 1949 (81).

Condition: discoloured varnish; old damages, retouched, in the corner of his right eye, in the nose and wig, upper right; pin holes in the corners.

Collections: bought, 1872 from William Dashwood of Newport, Isle of Wight; previously in the collection of Lady Isabella Blackford, Osborne House, Isle of Wight.

Engraved: by F. Chéreau lettered Jacques III. Roy de la Grande Bretagne. Présenté à Sa Majesté. le 21e. Juin 1712. . . . Par . . . A.S.Belle, and a state without inscription; there is a reduced version by the younger Chéreau; an anonymous mezzotint (Scottish NPG, SP IV, 126-27) of the same type shows the sitter with the Fleece.

273 After Alexis Simeon Belle
Miniature, oil on copper, 2 5/8 x 2 in. (67 x 51 mm); brown eyes and eyebrows, fresh complexion, grey wig, centre-parted, falling on shoulders; steel cuirass, lined with crimson velvet, over it, the Garter ribbon.

One of a number of copies, in miniature, made after the type of NPG 348 (above).

Condition: some shrinkage in paint; slight losses in the forehead.

Collections: bought, 1868, from T. White of Duke Street, St James's.

433 By an unknown artist
Oil on canvas, 29 ½ x 24 in. (749 x 609 mm); dark brown eyes, light brown eyebrows, pale complexion with slight flush on cheeks and eyelids, dark brownish-grey wig with looped end; mole-coloured coat trimmed with gold lace, blue Garter ribbon, medallion of the Thistle hanging from green ribbon; crown on table, left; dark grey-brown background.

Attributed, on acquisition, to Anton Raphael Mengs. As a type, NPG 433 relates to the portrait by Benedetto Luti, at one time ascribed to Mengs, examples of which are at Gosford House (707), in the Scottish NPG (305) and, whole length, at Alloa House, in the collection of the Earl of Mar and Kellie. The last, in which the sitter is aged 57, is inscribed Giacomo III RE DELLA GRAN BRETANIA DETTO IL PRETENDENTE D'ANNI. 57. CMS: F 1745; it is also indistinctly signed AR(?). NPG 433 is perhaps a copy or adaptation by Duprà of one of his own earlier portraits known to have been painted in the 1740s after the Gosford House design by Luti. [5]

Condition: slight damage to coat below Garter star; polished, 1876; surface cleaned and varnished, 1895.

Collections: bought, 1876 from Alexander Fletcher of Nottingham Place, Regent's Park, together with Charles Edward Stuart (NPG 434) and Henry Benedict, Cardinal York (NPG 435), all attributed to Mengs; said by Fletcher to have been bought by him from Cardinal York's secretary, Count Malatesta, to whom they had been bequeathed by the Cardinal.

4535 By or after Francesco Ponzone, c.1741
Pen and ink on white paper, within a black rule, 8 x 6 ½ in. (203 x 154 mm); profile; forehead slightly receding, high beaked nose, heavy chin, wig, tightly curled, with knotted end falling in front of his left shoulder; a sash (Garter?) over his unbuttoned coat.

On the back of the frame a stencil : 145 PS and another ending in W concealed by the title-page of the Hamilton sale catalogue on which is a written label with Gray's account of the sitter (see‘Appearance’, below).

NPG 4535 is a variant version of an unpublished drawing of 1741 by the virtually unknown Milanese artist Francesco Ponzone. Now at Windsor, the portrait is inscribed [-]e o Francesco Ponzone Milanese Fece in Roma 1741 Genaro. It may well be ‘the drawing of ye King done with ye pen, extremely well done and a very good likeness' mentioned in letters dated 15 June and 4 July 1741. [6] An engraving, in reverse (O'D 36), showing the Garter and lettered Quærit Patria Cæsarem,was published 1747without artist's or engraver's name. On the impression in the British Museum is written in ink: 'After a drawing from life in the possession of Dr. Irwin at Rome. See Bolingbroke's letter to Sir W. Windham'. [7] Mrs Mockler owns a very similar drawing showing less of the shoulders and lettered Cognoscit me Meus. A rather similar drawing of the Young Pretender, in red chalk, in the British Museum, is by Giles Hussey. This would seem to raise certain doubts as to the authorship of NPG 4535 but Ponzone is the more probable. The Windsor drawing is the only work known for comparison. The type is worth comparing with the profile oil by Blanchet from the Hay collection (see ‘Icono­graphy’ below).

Condition: an abrasion and discolouration about 3 inches long behind the shoulder; a small hole, bottom centre of wig.

Collections: bought 1967, from Mrs Gordon Lett; formerly Duke of Hamilton's collection, sold Christie's, 7 November 1919, presumably the third item, lot 99, ‘The Old Pretender—pen and ink‘(no artist given), bought Sir George Buckstone Browne; thence by descent through his son-in-law, the late Sir Hugh Lett, Bart, to Mrs Gordon Lett.

Literature: H. Farquhar, 'Portraiture of our Stuart Monarchs on their Coins and Medals', Part II, British Numismatic Journal, VI, 1910; M. Levey, The Later Italian Pictures in the Collection of her Majesty the Queen, 1964.


'The figure of our young king' declared Count Anthony Hamilton, ‘might be chosen by a painter for the model of the God of Love, if such a deity could be mentioned in the severe court of St. Germain's'. [8] Thomas Gray's account, in a letter to his father from Florence, 16 July 1740, is less flattering: ‘. . . he is a thin ill-made man, extremely tall and awkward, of a most unpromising countenance, a good deal resembling King James the Second, and has extremely the air and look of an idiot, particularly when he laughs or prays. The first he does not often, the latter continually'. [9]


James was painted as an infant by Kneller, engraved by Smith (CS 246); by an unknown artist holding a fleur-de-lys coronet, collection Mrs R. Morris, [10] and by Benedetto Gennari, [11] Stonyhurst College, formerly Alberoni collection, Rome. A whole length also as a baby, with a King Charles spaniel, inscribed 1691 and attributed to Largillière, now belongs to the Scottish NPG (2191). An engraving, head and shoulders by P.L. van Schuppen lettered as after a Largillière of 1692, has a very similar face mask. A rather primitive half length in a decorated oval, given to P. Mignard, also representing James at about this time, was lent to the 'Historical Portraits' exhibition, Aberdeen, 1859 (102) by the 5th Earl Fife as the sitter's son. [12] It was subsequently, 1946, in the collection of Prince Arthur of Connaught. A further portrait by Largillière was engraved by G. Edelinck, 1692. The double portrait (NPG 976, above) by this artist is of 1695. An example of a slightly different and later type was at Sotheby's, 9 May 1951, lot 109. A number of miniatures were produced by J.A. Arlaud at St Germain, c.1703-10.A fine example presented to Simon Lord Lovat, now in the Winchilsea collection is inscribed on the back as painted ad vivum, May 1703. Another is at Windsor.

A large number of portraits must have been produced in the decade 1700-10 but remain unclassified. A painting with an old inscription naming de Troy (de Troyes) and dated 1701 (Scottish NPG 909), shows him in civil dress as does another, lent by W. Pollard-Urquhart to the Aberdeen exhibition of 1859 (58),there described as his son Charles. A copy by Mignard, again as Charles, was at Christie's, 8 May 1964, lot 61. An engraving by S. Thomassin, 1702, shows him in profile, to the left, with the prominent chin so noticeable in portraits by Belle. Examples of another group, in breastplate, are in the collections of A. Maxtone Graham, Edinburgh; P. Maxwell Stuart, Traquair House, and in the Scottish NPG (1215). Another was formerly in Lord Brocket's collection, Bramshill. A corresponding engraving by Edelinck, in reverse, is in the Scottish NPG. A variant oil is in the Niedersächsische Landesgalerie (391), Hanover. Another portrait with the same head, the body turned to the left, is in the Palazzo Doria, Rome.

The portrait at Magdalene College, Cambridge, formerly owned by the Fermor family, was painted from another sitting. It was found, after cleaning in 1935, to be inscribed peint à St. Germaine-en-Laye / par François de Troy / en 1704. [13]A whole length at the Scots College, Paris, is given to A.S. Belle and represents James as grand admiral, his helmet held by a page in Polish dress. An oval portrait attributed to the same artist which seems to be a head and shoulders copy of this type, at Christie's, 23 February 1951, lot 133, from the collection of Mark Fawdry, is now owned by the Department of the Environment (British Embassy, Rome). The portrait by Belle in Garter robes, to the right, now known only through the engraving by Louise Horthemels, makes him look a little older and is possibly from a later sitting. The fine three-quarter length in breastplate, to the left, collection Comte Arnaud de Montesquiou-Fezensac uses the same face mask as NPG 348, the type being dated 1712-14 (seeabove). A portrait at Holyrood House since 1931, also given to Belle, shows the sitter as an angel leading his sister by the hand. She died in 1712.

At about this time, on the evidence of apparent age, there occurs a different portrait in Garter robes. Previously given to Luti but now attributed to Francesco Trevisani, it is at Holyrood House, formerly at Hampton Court. A half length, Duke of Alba's collection (68), crudely engraved in Rome, 1717, as by Antonio David, shows James with the Garter and the Thistle over armour. Another portrait in the same collection (67) with the same face mask shows palace fortifications in the background and another, reversed, was at Christie's, 28 March 1969, lot 109, from Heckfield Place, collection Mrs Colin Davy. Datable to c.1720and attributed to Rigaud when exhibited 'Pictures from Hampshire Houses', 1955 (59), the handling of the head is closer to David than to either Rigaud or Belle. A version belongs to the Marquis de Villefranche.

David was appointed painter to James in 1718 and numerous references to works in the Stuart Papers at this period include a whole length of James, January 1723 with a record of payments made between ‘1718-30'. [14] The face mask of this type differs considerably from the important three-quarter length at Blairs College, 'Royal House of Stuart' exhibition, 1889 (167), in which the sitter points a baton at a map. A version in the collection of W. Pollard-Urquhart, was exhibited Aberdeen, 1859 (55), as by Trevisani; a variant is at Stanford Hall, collection Lord Braye. It has been suggested, on comparison with the Bodleian miniature of the same type and from references in Rawlinson's diary, 1721, that Pesci is the artist. [15] Another type in which the sitter looks older, and with the Tower of London in the background, is in Lord Braye's collection, artist unknown. Purchased by Baroness Braye in Rome c.1807at the sale of Cardinal York's effects, it has sometimes been linked with the Duke of Alba's three-quarter length (67) given to Vanloo. This, however, would seem incorrect since the Alba portrait is earlier. A head and shoulders, Scottish NPG 1836, a pair with Maria Clementina Sobieska, bequeathed 1956 by Miss Bertha Stewart Parr, may date from this period and is tentatively ascribed to Blanchet. A repetition is in the Alba collection.

Two late profiles are the Blanchet, formerly collection Colonel G.H. Hay, Duns Castle, sold Christie's, 25 March 1966, lot 80 [Editor’s note, 2013: now NPG 5573], and NPG 4535 of c.1741 (above). There follow the full face portrait (NPG 433, above), probably of the mid-'forties, and miniatures related to the Luti type in Gosford House and the Scottish NPG. These are sometimes called the 'Edgar' type from an example that belonged to James Edgar, secretary to the Jacobite court.

Numerous medals were struck (for example, Scottish NPG nos 32-40,1322-32, etc.) but, apart from the interesting ivory by A. Pozzi showing the sitter with his sons, the Young Pretender and Cardinal York, at Brodick Castle, there is little sculpture. These three sitters also occur on the family monument by Canova, erected in St Peter's by George III, completed 1819.


An apparently imaginary account of the landing in Scotland in 1716 was en­graved by Pieter Schenk and published in Amsterdam; the central figure of the composition is the subject of an oil. [16] The sitter also appears with Maria Clementina at the time of their marriage, 1719, and an oil attributed to P.L. Ghezzi of the baptism of their first son Charles (b.1720) is at Dalmeny, collection Lord Rosebery (71). This corresponds with the engraving by Anton Fritz, published in Rome, after August Massucci. An oil by Antonio Gionima, Castel Sant Angelo, Rome, represents the reception of James at Bologna and another, by G.P. Pannini, Hamilton Palace sale, Christie's, 6 November 1919, lot 38, shows him at the ceremony in Rome, 1747, when his son was created cardinal.


1. Piper, 1963, p.334.
2. S-W, VI, p.3.
3. Exh. ‘Mostra di Ritratti Inglesi per la Settimana Brittanica a Firenze', Florence, 1966 (22), pl.18.
4. Lugt (28461).
5. A.M. Clark, Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, verbal.
6. S-W, III, p.28.
7. 1st Viscount Bolingbroke, A Letter to Sir William Windham, 1717, p.268.
8. A. Shield and A. Lang, The King Over the Water, 1907, p.80.
9. Works, ed. E. Gosse, II, p.85.
10. Previously called James II.
11. Exh. 'Italian Art and Britain', RA, 1960 (31).
12. Cp miniature in Earl of Haddington collection, Tyningham.
13. The Times, 20 March 1935, letter and illustration, p.18; with Leggatt's, 1948.
14. S-W, I, pp.3, 5, ff.
15. Miss A.M. Wrinch (Mrs Alastair Rowan), verbal.
16. Location unknown; photograph in the Scottish NPG archives.


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