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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Prince Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788), Grandson of James II; 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'

Portraits of the Stuart princeling as an armoured youth dedicated to reclaiming his grandfather's throne, crescendo to 1745. With defeat, although he lives in the memory of his still ardent followers, the shining image is not renewed. Later portraits reveal the face of a disillusioned ageing roué. Just as his father, brought up outside Paris, first sat principally to French painters so Charles, born and bred in Rome, was painted by artists resident in or visiting Italy. As noted, in the first twelve years, the name most frequently encountered is that of Antonio David. Although one of the leading painters of distinguished visitors on the grand tour in the generation before Batoni, the work of this artist is relatively unexplored. A profile drawing to the right in the Ilchester collection, Holland House (222) by the English artist Giles Hussey (1710-88), in Rome 1730-7, is believed to have been taken in 1735. [1] Versions include one at Blair Castle and another, reversed with Garter, in Mrs Mockler's collection; derivatives in armour are in the collections of W. J. Perkins, [2] Stafford House, and Lord Arundell of Wardour. A drawing by Hussey in red chalk is in the British Museum.
A pastel from sittings to Rosalba in 1737 [3] (see NPG 376) formerly in the Gemäldegalerie, Alte Meister, Dresden, is now owned by Dr J. B. Hartmann, and an oil after the type, also previously at Dresden and wrongly named Cardinal York when reproduced by Vittorio Malamani, [4] is attributed by F. J. B. Watson to Francesco Guardi. The portrait is now in the collection of Mr and Mrs Paul Wallraf, London, and as Watson points out, since the sitter is shown with the Garter, he must be Charles. An engraving without the Garter after a portrait by Rosalba, published by J. Canale, 1767, is lettered Portrait d'un Sign. Anglois. It may well represent another sitter. Other sittings in 1737 resulted in the portrait by Liotard which the Prince's father James preferred to Rosalba's [5] but unfortunately, considering this artist's revealing account of the English royal family (Sir Oliver Millar, The Tudor Stuart and Early Georgian Pictures in the collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1963, 578-90), this is now missing.
A portrait commissioned by James in 1737 for the Duchess of Parma produced the outstanding work by Louis Gabriel Blanchet, pair with the sitter's brother Cardinal York. The portrait is said to have been painted following Charles' visit to his great-aunt, the Duchess, in 1728, but she later speaks of a portrait of 1738 with payments noted for November and December 1737, and February, April 1738. [6] Signed and dated 1738, it is in the collection of Mrs Colin Davy [Editorial note, 2012: acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1982]. A fine three-quarter length version, signed and dated 1739, one of a set of the two brothers and their parents from the Hay collection at Duns [7] is now in the Royal Collection, Holyrood House. The Prince looks younger than eighteen and the painting may owe something to earlier portraits such as those by David of 1732. Variants of the Blanchet type are at Gosford House and, less close, at Ingatestone Hall. Miniatures of the two brothers are in the collections of Colonel A. J. E. Cranstoun and the Duke of Buccleuch. A full face oil, Scottish NPG (1836), pair with Clementina, may also be connected with Blanchet.
A double miniature inscribed Charles Edward Stuart, Prince of Wales and his brother who was afterwards Cardinal York. Painted at Rome in the year 1739 by Giacomo Galletti, with Sabin Galleries, 1966, was formerly in the collection of Horace Walpole. A painting in the Duke of Alba's collection (73) is stated to be of 1742 and by J. J. Parrocel, an artist of whom little is known. Charles was also painted by Domenico Duprà, a portrait being engraved by N. J. B. de Poilly in 1746 as after him and taken in Rome. An oil of the same design at Keir is inscribed on the back Domco Dupra fece Rom. [8] Head and shoulder copies, mostly rather crude, were in the collection of B. Ficklin, Tasburgh Hall, Norwich, 1938, [9] at Sotheby's, 26 July 1967, lot 2, and with the Holbein Galleries, 1967. A three-quarter length was at Christie's, 31 July 1953, lot 75, the face mask similar to the engraving by J. Daulé (F. O'Donoghue and Sir Henry M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits ... in the British Museum, 1908-25, 21). Although the earliest date at present available is 1746 it would seem more probable that these portraits precede the '45, perhaps by several years. A finer engraving, head and shoulders only, facing right, was made by G. E. Petit after an original picture by Duprà belonging to 'Mr. d'Obryen', James's Paris agent; a rather similar, but not necessarily related head belonging to Dr Macdonald of Taunton was engraved by 1820 as after a painting by Alexander at Rome.

c.1745
Portraits noted by Miss Stuart-Wortley when the Prince was in Scotland in 1745, [10] are a miniature, now at Blair Castle, stated to have been done at the breakfast table by Sir Robert Strange, 1 September 1745, [11] and another by an unknown artist 'a pretty large miniature of the Prince taken of him when he was at Edinburgh', shown, apparently, to Father Alexander Lesley at Leghorn by Mr Hoop on his way to Naples. [12] The existence of a third portrait is deduced from a captured note among the Cumberland papers written, 26 October 1745 (old style), by Colonel Roy Stuart asking Allan Ramsay to come to Holyrood to take 'his Royal Highness picture'. [13] Nothing more is known of this portrait. A strong likeness is supposed to have existed between the painter Arthur Devis and the sitter but the highly coloured story of mistaken identity when the former was nearly arrested and executed by soldiers in Derby in 1746 has not been substantiated. The principal evidence for this similarity of features rests on the inscriptions below the pair of miniatures now in the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston. [14]
A group of portraits relates to the well-known engraving by Sir Robert Strange, 1745, with the motto Everso missus succurrere sæclo. [15] An interesting head and shoulders of the type is at Gosford; a miniature, oil on copper, was at Christie's, 7 June 1966, lot 42, afterwards with N. Woolf, London. Similar to the Strange face mask is J. Williams' mezzotint of the Prince dressed as a woman after Culloden (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 1). An engaging, if rather primitive group of small whole lengths known as the 'Harlequin' type shows the Prince in highland dress. Examples are in Lord Lovat's collection and at Brook. A three-quarter length formerly in the collection of Colonel Gordon Campbell of Glenlyon is now at Dalmeny. The type, presumably evolved at the time of the '45, may relate to the Strange engraving. There is a similar engraving by G. Will after Wassdail.
After Culloden and Charles' escape to France, a portrait was taken by La Tour (see NPG 2161) and on 20 January 1748 a payment was made to L. Tocqué for another not mentioned again [16] but known from engravings by J. G. Wille and F. Basan (F. O'Donoghue and Sir Henry M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits ... in the British Museum, 1908-25, 16, 17). Various copies after Tocqué include one in the possession of G. B. Lowe, Bexhill-on-Sea, 1936, and a miniature at Alloa House. The Stuart Papers record a marble bust by Lemoyne (Jean Baptiste Lemoyne II, 1704-78) expected in October 1747 but not finished until 1750. [17] The terracotta was exhibited at the salon of 1747. The Prince, writing from exile in Ghent to the son of his Paris banker in 1752, mentions his 'Marble Bousto' by Le Moyne and requests that it and his portrait by La Tour be taken care of. [18] A plaster head in Edinburgh, Scottish NPG 594, incised on the plinth Charles Edouard Stuart, par J. B. LeMoyne, 1746 is likely to be a 19th-century cast. [19]

After 1745
In 1748 Charles was banished from France and, after various travels, settled again in Rome in 1766. In 1767 Andrew Lumisden writes that no portrait had been done for many years [20] but towards the end of his life Charles, by then far from handsome, was drawn in Rome, together with his wife, c.1772, by Ozias Humphry. Miniatures are in the collections of the Marquess of Exeter, the Duke of Atholl, and another, lettered on the back Rome 1783, was at Christie's, 25 June 1954, lot 64. A pencil sketch by Humphry [21] at Keir, inscribed prince Charles Stewart drawn from Nature at Florence 1776, was in the 'Royal Stuart Exhibition', Edinburgh, 1949 (83). Like NPG 376, it shows a markedly dispirited appearance. The last large painting is probably the portrait by Laurent Pécheux at Stanford Park, Rugby, signed and dated 1770, bought at Cardinal York's sale in Rome. There are bills from Pécheux in June 1770 and in March the following year he was appointed one of Charles's painters. [22]

For the baptismal group by P. L. Ghezzi, see James, 'The Old Pretender'.

1) Earl of Ilchester, Catalogue of Pictures belonging to the Earl of Ilchester at Holland House, 1904; a copy at Sotheby's, 15 May 1946, lot 8, is so inscribed.
2) Reproduced SMT Magazine and Scottish Country Life, April 1946, p 16.
3) F. J. B. Watson, 'Two Venetian Portraits of the Young Pretender: Rosalba Carriera and Francesco Guardi', Burlington Magazine, CXI, 1969, pp 333-6.
4) Rosalba Carriera, Bergamo, 1910, opposite p 76.
5) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, II, pp 7-14.
6) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, I, p 29 and Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, II, p 26; exhibited 'Italian Art and Great Britain', RA, 1960 (144).
7) See Maria Clementina Sobieska, NPG 1262.
8) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, II, p 28, and Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, III, p 11.
9) Reproduced, Connoisseur, XXXIV, 1912, frontispiece.
10) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, III, pp 24-5.
11) Robert Forbes, The Lyon in Mourning, ed. H. Paton (Scottish Historical Society XX–XXII), 1895-6, I, pp 208-10, confirms his presence at Blair on that day.
12) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, III, p 24.
13) Ibid, p 25.
14) S. H. Pavière, The Devis Family of Painters, 1950, pp 28-9, pl.16.
15) A phrase derived from Virgil, Georgics, I, 500-1: 'Hunc saltem everso iuvenem succurrere saeclo ne prohibete' ('At least stay not this youth from repairing the ruined age'), also used by Owen McSwiny on an engraving, Apotheosis of William III, see Tancred Borenius, 'A Venetian Apotheosis of William III', Burlington Magazine, LXIX, 1936, p 245.
16) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, IV, p 1.
17) Ibid, p 6.
18) A. E. Haswell Miller, 'The Prince in Portraiture', SMT Magazine and Scottish Country Life, April 1946 p 24.
19) J. L. Caw, Scottish Portraits, 1903, II, p 19. R. E. Hutchison, verbally, 1972.
20) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, VI, p 1.
21) cf. Blaikie Murdoch, 'Portraits of Prince Charles Edward Stuart', Connoisseur, XXIX, 1911, reproduced p 158, there stated to be in the Scottish NPG.
22) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, VI, p 1.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, 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.