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Regency Portraits Catalogue

Charles John Gardiner, 1st Earl of Blessington (1782-1829), Man of fashion

Miniature by George Engleheart reproduced in G. C. Williamson, Portrait Miniatures, 1904, I, plate LX.9 (as Lord Mountjoy), then in Lady Currie's collection, British Embassy, Rome.

Oil or watercolour by P. E. Stroehling in the Lady Blessington sale 7-16 May 1849 (977); Byron recalled him 'in all the glory of gems and snuff-boxes and uniforms and theatricals and speeches in our House (of Lords) ... and sitting to Stroehling, the painter, to be depicted as one of the heroes of Agincourt with his long sword, saddle, bridle, Whack fal de, etc. etc.' (letter to Tom Moore 2 April 1823); Stroehling had been commissioned to paint the Prince Regent as the Black Prince 1811-13 (Sir Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, 1969, p 119a).

Oil by Lawrence exhibited RA 1812 (65) and in the Lady Blessington sale 15 May 1849 (1031) - a kit-cat according to Farington's Diary 30 March 1812 (Kenneth Garlick, ‘Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence’ in Walpole Society Journal, XXXIX, 1964, pp 37-8).

Oil miniature on silver by Holmes (NPG 1523).

Another oil by Lawrence, whole-length begun 1815-16, was claimed from Lawrence's estate by Lord Blessington's executors and delivered unfinished in 1831 (Kenneth Garlick, ‘Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence’ in Walpole Society Journal, XXXIX, 1964, p 293).

'The Trial of Queen Caroline 1820’ by Hayter (NPG 999).

Enamel by Thomas Roth from a picture by M. W. Sharp, exhibited RA 1823 (873).

Blessington, an ardent supporter of Catholic Emancipation, probably appears in George Jones's rather hazy oil 'The Catholic Emancipation Act' on loan to the House of Lords from Lord Clifford.

Pencil, crayon and wash drawing signed by Richard Cosway was exhibited 'Pictures from Ulster Houses' Belfast 1961 (188), lent by Edwin Bryson with the companion drawing of Lady Blessington.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, 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.