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Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Marguerite, Countess of Blessington (1789-1849), Novelist and beauty; wife of 1st Earl of Blessington

The following portraits of Lady Blessington were included in her sale, Phillips, 7-26 May 1849 (the only recorded catalogue of the sale is in the Wallace Collection); a painting by Sir T. Lawrence, now in the Wallace Collection (lot 1032), exhibited RA, 1822 (80), engraved by J. H. Watt, published 1832 (example in NPG), for the Amulet, and by S. Cousins, published Hodgson and Graves, 1837 (example in NPG); a copy is at Hughenden Manor (National Trust), and miniatures after it are in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, the Wallace Collection (by E. Bouchardy), and Lady Blessington's Sale (lot 658); a drawing attributed to Lawrence was exhibited Amateur Art Exhibition, London, 1898 (50), lent by Lady Arthur Wellesley; a painting by D'Orsay (contemplating a picture) (lot 1008), possibly that exhibited RA, 1844 (205); a painting and a drawing by Sir F. Grant (lots 1218 and 1216); a painting by Valentini (in medieval costume, with Bulwer Lytton and Disraeli) (lot 1063); water-colours by Chalon (lots 602, 616, and 618) (see NPG 1309); drawings by Sir E. Landseer (lots 592, 1178 and 1179), the second of these was apparently that engraved by F. C. Lewis, published H. Colburn, 1839 (example in NPG); drawings by D. Maclise (lots 234, 1205, and 1206) (an engraving of Lady Blessington by Maclise was published Fraser's Magazine, VII (1833), facing 267, as no. 34 of his 'Gallery of Illustrious Literary Characters'; Lady Blessington also appears in Maclise's engraving of 'Regina's Maids of Honour', published Fraser's Magazine, XIII (1836), facing 80, as no. 68 of his 'Gallery'); a life-size drawing by Count A. D'Orsay (lot 621); another drawing by D'Orsay of 1841 was included in a whole lot of drawings (lot 1263), subsequently sold Sotheby's, 13 February 1950 (lot 216), bought Colnaghi, lithographed by R. J. Lane (example in NPG); a miniature by R. Cosway (lot 377) (the same or another miniature by Cosway was exhibited Pictures from Ulster Houses, Belfast Museum and Art Gallery, 1961 (181), lent by Edwin Bryson); a miniature by E. T. Parris (lot 610), presumably that engraved by W. Giller, published J. McCormick, 1835 (example in British Museum), and also engraved by J. Thomson, published Longman (example in NPG); an enamel after this miniature (lot 598) (another miniature by J. Haslem, after Parris, was exhibited RA, 1836 (909)); a miniature by S. Lane (lot 234), and another by an unknown artist (lot 623); a cameo (lot 689); a marble bust by L. Bartolini (lot 262); busts by and after Count A. D'Orsay (lots 281 and 1472); a bronze medallion by D'Orsay (lot 220), possibly that exhibited RA, 1844 (1408); and models of her hands (lots 353 and 570).
Other portraits of Lady Blessington are as follows: a painting by J. Wood, exhibited RA, 1838 (7); a posthumous drawing by G. F. Mulvany in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin; a drawing by C. Martin of 1844 (NPG 1645a); drawings by P. H. Stroehling of 1812 and by G. Cattermole in the British Museum; a painting or drawing by H. B. Chalon, exhibited Victorian Era Exhibition, 'Historical Section' (201), lent by Sir R. Rawlinson; a marble bust by an unknown artist exhibited English Decorative Art at Lansdowne House, 1929 (349) lent by E. Knoblock; a silhouette by Foster of 1829, reproduced E. N. Jackson, The History of Silhouettes (1911), facing p 112; an anonymous engraving, after a medallion by H. Weekes, published C. Tilt, 1838 (example in NPG), for Collas and Chorley, The Authors of England; an engraving by J. Cochran, after Le Comte, published E. Churton, 1835 (example in NPG), for the Court Magazine; a lithograph by R. J. Lane of 1833, after a drawing by Landseer (example in British Museum); an engraving by F. C. Lewis and an anonymous lithograph, both called Lady Blessington (examples in NPG).


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Ormond, Early Victorian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1973, 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.