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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Martin Folkes (1690-1754), Antiquary

The field is rich. A painting, now lost, is known from the engraving by J. Smith, 1719, lettered J Richardson Pinx 1718 and a drawing inscribed Mr Fowkes with a date, bottom right, now illegible is in the Fitzwilliam. Another also on vellum, in the British Museum, with a heavier face and a different cap is inscribed on the back with the sitter's name and dated 8 December 1735. Both are stamped with the Richardson collection mark. [1] An oil by J. Vanderbank, 1736, at Hillington Hall in 1909, [2] engraved by Faber junior, 1737, with a bust of Newton in the background, possibly denotes the sitter's connection with the Royal Society where there is the fine Hogarth of 1741. Another oil from Hillington Hall [3] depicting the sitter as president of the Society, corresponds with the engraving by McArdell after Hudson who also painted members and friends of the ffolkes family c.1748-50. A fine bust by Roubiliac inscribed M. FOLKES ... MDCCXLIX, at Wilton in the Earl of Pembroke's collection, 3) makes much of the sitter's protruding lower lip. Dr Maty purchased the plaster bust in the British Museum at the sculptor's sale in 1762. The posthumous monument by Tyler and Ashton in Westminster Abbey, [4] dated 1788, is only of moderate iconographical value. A tracing in the Gallery archives, of a profile to the right, after an unknown original, shows Folkes at a fairly advanced age. He has been suggested for the stout and, so far, unidentified patron in Hayman's self-portrait in his studio [5] (see Hayman, Francis, NPG 217). [Editor's note, 2013: the 'patron' is now generally identified as Grosvenor Bedford.]
Medals by Dassier, 1740, [6] and by an unknown artist, 1742, [7] are in the British Museum [Editor's note, 2013: that by Dassier is also in the National Portrait Gallery]. A wax medallion attributed to Tassie is in the Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart. [8]

1) Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, Portraits in Norfolk Houses, edited E. Farrer [1927], I, p 245 (11), then property of Sir William Browne ffolkes.
2) Ibid, (10).
3) Exhibited 'British Portraits', 1956-57 (171), also 'Painting and Sculpture in England 1700-1750', Liverpool, 1958 (47); K. A. Esdaile, The Life and Works of Louis François Roubiliac, 1928, pp 90-91; M. I. Webb, Michael Rysbrack Sculptor, 1954, p 805.
4) M. Whinney, Sculpture in Britain 1530-1830, 1964, pl.115a.
5) Marc Girouard, 'Hogarth and His Friends', Country Life, CXXXIX, 1966, p 189.
6) British Museum, Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland, compiled F. Hawkins and others, II, p 558.
7) Ibid, p 571.
8) R. E. Raspe, A Descriptive Catalogue of a General Collection ... by James Tassie, 1791, II, p 741 (14183).

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.