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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (1721-1765), General; third son of George II

Cumberland's appearance is well documented but his portraits, unlike those of his brother Frederick now mainly lodged in the Royal Collection, are widely scattered.

As a child
He was painted c.1725 in robes of the Bath, presumably to celebrate his investiture that year, the portrait being engraved by J. Simon (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 49) but without an artist's name. The type has been attributed to Kelberg. [1] An important whole length at Narford Hall, Norfolk, in the robes of a knight of the Bath, shows him with his sponsor Sir Andrew Fountaine and there are similar oils in the Brunswick collection and at Plas Newydd, collection Marquess of Anglesey. To c.1728 belong the portrait by Jervas (NPG 802) and the double portrait of the Prince and his mother in the Royal Collection (Sir Oliver Millar, The Tudor Stuart and Early Georgian Pictures in the collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1963, 500). In c.1730 he was painted when invested with the Garter. A portrait by Amigoni at Easton Neston, collection Lord Hesketh, shows the first signs of obesity. Another type, also in Garter robes and of about this time, is engraved by Faber junior after Highmore ad vivum, but no original is known. The portrait by Hogarth, now in the collection of Lord Glenconner, [2] mentioned by Vertue about 1733, [3] is a sketch for the cancelled picture of the family of George II (Sir Oliver Millar, The Tudor Stuart and Early Georgian Pictures in the collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1963, 559); the figure in Hogarth's 'Conquest of Mexico', collection Teresa, Viscountess Galway, is very similar.

As a youth
An undated portrait attributed to Pond is probably of the late 1730s. The original is thought to be the version at Goodwood. A replica belonged in 1934 to Major General Sir John Hanbury Williams. A copy at Althorp (347) was made in 1740. [4]

Later portraits
A painting by Francesco Carlo Rusca (in England 1738-40) is known only through Simon's engraving. This is close to the head in the equestrian portrait painted by Hudson and Wootton (Sir Oliver Millar, The Tudor Stuart and Early Georgian Pictures in the collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1963, 554, pl.201) for Frederick, Prince of Wales. It is signed and dated 1744, and represents Cumberland at Dettingen, 1743. The inscription is in a cartouche similar to that in Wootton's portrait of George II in the same battle, formerly in the Leeds collection and now in the National Army Museum (see George II, All Known Portraits). A portrait by Wootton showing the sitter with Lord Henry Campbell and Sir John Ligonier, in the Duke of Argyll's collection at Inveraray, is stated to depict the battle of Laeffelt, 1747; [5] in the painting at Hopetoun, Linlithgow collection, also given to Wootton, he is apparently represented at Culloden. A number of popular engravings also appeared at about this time.
An anonymous whole length, known only from an unidentified press cutting in the NPG files, could prove to be by Pond; it is perhaps of near 1745, and shows Cumberland in something approaching a general officer's uniform, with a baton held diagonally in his right hand. The picture is splendidly framed with military attributes. The series of equestrian portraits by David Morier in the Royal Collection (Sir Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1969, 943-50) were produced 1743-50; his whole length type, represented by NPG 537, is of c.1750. Apart from these Moriers, portraits elsewhere attributed to him and using a similar face mask are the Woottonesque view of Cumberland with Ligonier to the left, formerly in the collection of Viscountess St Cyres, at Christie's, 20 July 1956, lot 124; one from the Duke of Gloucester's collection, sold at Christie's, 8 May 1959, lot 9, and a third in the Rosebery sale, Christie's, 5 May 1939, lot 97. These appear to be by hands different from one another and from NPG 537.
An anonymous equestrian portrait of good quality of c.1755, in the Royal Collection, may, according to Millar (Sir Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1969, 1215), be by Brompton or Benjamin Wilson. The Reynolds portraits belong to 1758-60 when Cumberland's sittings are documented. The artist's ledgers at the Fitzwilliam include payments for portraits for the Earl of Albemarle, the Princess of Hesse and Princess Amelia and one for the Earl of Sandwich, formerly at Hinchingbroke. Millar suggests that the Royal Collection whole length in Garter robes (Sir Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1969, 1010) was painted for Amelia. A three-quarter length version with variations in the robes is at Welbeck from the Northwick collection. [6] The Royal Collection Kit-cat size presented to George IV by Sir William Keppel, 1829, is presumably the portrait for which General Keppel paid Reynolds £76 18s after 10 September 1764 (Sir Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1969, 1009).
Cumberland also appears in Reynolds' picture of the marriage of George III (Sir Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1969, 1012). One of the last portraits, by Sawrey Gilpin and William Marlow (Sir Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1969, 826), c.1764, shows him visiting his stud. He likewise appears in drawings in the Royal Collection by Thomas Sandby.

Sculpture
The outstanding piece is Rysbrack's marble bust, signed and dated 1754, collection Teresa, Viscountess Galway. A terracotta for it, sold at Spinks, 1932, once Sir Edward Littleton's, is now in the Musée Royale des Beaux Arts, Brussels. A terracotta of the sitter appeared at Langford's, 14 February 1767, lot 59. [7] A fine wax by Gosset, Vertue refers to one in 1752, [8] is in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; another is owned by E. J. Pyke. A lead bust with affinities to the style of John Cheere is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. [9] A similar one was with Peel and Humphris, 1955. A posthumous marble by Nollekens, Royal Collection, is incised and dated 1814. A number of medals are listed, one having been struck on the revival of the order of the Bath, 1725, and other types at the time of Culloden; several are by Richard Yeo. [10]

False portraits
An engraving supposedly of the Prince as an infant is an anonymous adaptation of Smith's mezzotint after Kneller, issued at the birth of James, 'The Old Pretender' (q.v. under All Known Portraits).

1) U. Thieme and F. Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler, 1907-50, XX, pp 83-4.
2) Exhibited 'European Masters of the Eighteenth Century', RA, 1954-5 (43).
3) G. Vertue, Vertue Note Books (edited by The Earl of Ilchester), Walpole Society, vols XVIll-XXIX, 1930-55, III, p 68.
4) Waterhouse, MS catalogue (347), NPG archives.
5) Exhibited 'The Grenadier Guards', St James's Palace, 1956 (48).
6) R. W. Goulding and C. K. Adams, Catalogue of the Pictures Belonging to His Grace the Duke of Portland, 1936 (115).
7) M. I. Webb, Michael Rysbrack Sculptor, 1954 p 214; F. Lugt, Repertoire des Catalogues de Ventes, 1600 (1586).
8) G. Vertue, Vertue Note Books (edited by The Earl of Ilchester), Walpole Society, vols XVIll-XXIX, 1930-55, III, p 160.
9) M. Whinney, Victoria and Albert Museum, English Sculpture 1720-1830, 1971, p 94, reproduced p 95.
10) British Museum, Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland, compiled F. Hawkins and others, II, pp 605-18; also Spink's Numismatic Circular, March-April 1915, pp 151-2.


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.