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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

John Perceval, 1st Earl of Egmont (1683-1748), President of the Trustees of Georgia

A painting in Lord Lambton's collection corresponds with the three-quarter length by Kneller of 1704, engraved by Smith (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 200). A head and shoulders in a painted oval, probably based on the same sitting, is presumably related both to the portrait recorded by Musgrave at King's Weston [1] and to the picture in the De Clifford sale, Christie's, 20 April 1833, 2nd day, part of lot 23, 'Kneller - the Earl of Egmont - oval'. A portrait similarly described was sold from the Egmont collection at Christie's, 12 December 1930, lot 105. Another, with his wife, crudely painted and attributed to Hudson, was at Christie's, 24 February 1933, lot 49. Assuming the inscription giving the sitter's age to be correct, it was painted in 1738.
In his diary, under 16 February and 8 June 1733, Egmont writes of sittings to Hans Hysing. He also records payment in February 1734 'for a copy of my picture (a head) which cost 4 guineas'. [2] The three-quarter length in peer's parliamentary robes engraved by Faber junior in 1734 may be connected with these entries and with the oil in the collection, 1932, of Dr J. S. Pearson, which was probably one of the items, perhaps lot 101, in the Egmont sale: 'Sir G. Kneller, Portrait of 1st Earl of Egmont In brown coat with Peer's robes ...’. In the engraving there is a noticeable pimple under the left eye. Egmont also mentions, under 28 May 1740: 'Sat for my picture in crayons to Mr. Wills', [3] i.e. the Rev. James Wills; the picture referred to is apparently lost. Egmont is included in a 1740 inventory of portraits at Claydon and also appears as chairman (seated, extreme left) in the 'Georgia Council of 1734', [4] by William Verelst (see Hales, Stephen, All Known Portraits) now in the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, USA. He is possibly one of the figures in Hogarth's painting 'The Gaols Committee', 1729 (see NPG 926).

1) British Museum Add MS6391, f.66r.
2) Diary of Viscount Percival afterwards First Earl of Egmont, HMC 63, I, pp 329, 385; II, p 154.
3) Ibid, p 146.
4) Perhaps finished 1740, when the artist was seeking payment, ibid, III, p 119; in progress in 1735-36, when Egmont sat, ibid, II, pp 171, 175, 258, to 'Mr Verelst' whom the editor equates with the Council's accountant, Harman Verelst, ibid, II, p 118 and passim. The Verelsts still need disentangling, but, unlike his brother William, this Harman is not otherwise known as a painter. The picture at Winterthur is signed, bottom right, Wm. Verelst pinxit.

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.