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Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton (1683-1757), Lord Chamberlain

Grafton sat to the main painters of his day and many of the portraits, some of outstanding quality, are still in the family collection at Euston Hall. Among these is a small portrait of him as a child, the only surviving copy after the whole length by Kneller, engraved by Smith, 1689, as painted 1685; a version formerly at Barton Hall was burnt. Another (50 x 40 in.) of the same design, apparently correctly inscribed Kneller pinx 1683, appeared at Sotheby's, 19 February 1964, lot 19, from the collection of the Earl of Harrington, Elvaston Castle. A portrait ascribed to Philippe de Champagne but probably by Kneller, with versions at Ickworth, [1] Euston and Balnagown Castle, shows him as a boy with his mother. He was painted by Seeman, pair with his wife Henrietta (Somerset) whom he married in 1713. The next portrait is the fine Kneller of him as a young man, in the Kit-cat series (NPG 3210). A portrait, without attribution, datable on costume to the mid-'thirties in a private collection in Northamptonshire, seems to represent him both on likeness and the inclusion of the Garter, white wand and chamberlain's key; it might prove to be by Thomas Gibson. The fine whole length by Vanloo at Euston similar to NPG 723, is likely to be the portrait engraved by Faber, three-quarter length, in 1740, as painted in 1739.
Finally there are the portraits by Reynolds to whom Grafton sat 25 June 1755 and 17 February 1757. At least one portrait, as Waterhouse points out, was painted in 1754 and another perhaps in 1756, [2] a year for which the sitter book is missing. Payments before 1760 are recorded for one whole length (£50.8s for Mr Wall) and one half length (£25 for Lord Edgcumb). [3] Four portraits survive: a whole length in peer's robes with Garter collar 'recently acquired' and presented, 1805, by R. H. Beaumont to the Ashmolean Museum, [4] a three-quarter length variant in plain dress and Garter star sold from the Harrington collection, Sotheby's, 15 July 1964, lot 115, and, apparently from the same sittings, a small whole length at Ragley, Marquess of Hertford and a large three-quarter length in which the sitter has a white wand in his left hand and a coronet in his right. At Sotheby's, 1 February 1950, lot 67, the three-quarter length was last there, 22 November 1967, lot 22, from the collection of Mrs Robertson whose ancestor, it was stated, had received it as the 4th Duke of Devonshire. It is perhaps the same picture catalogued in the Reynolds sale, Greenwood's, 16 April 1796, lot 26, [5] as the 'late Duke of Grafton'. Musgrave, 1797, recorded only a portrait by Shackleton at Ragley. [6]

1) E. Farrer, Portraits in Suffolk Houses (West), 1908, p 107 (21).
2) Sir Ellis K. Waterhouse, Reynolds's 'Sitter Book' for 1755, Walpole Society, XLI, 1968, pp 131, 150.
3) M. Cormack, 'The Ledgers of Sir Joshua Reynolds', Walpole Society, XLII, 1970, p 121, records later payments but their relation to existing portraits is not apparent.
4) Sir Ellis K. Waterhouse, Reynolds (English Master Painters), 1941, p 40, pl.28; exhibited 'Midland Houses', Birmingham, 1953 (63).
5) Sir Ellis K. Waterhouse, Reynolds's 'Sitter Book' for 1755, Walpole Society, XLI, 1968, p 150.
6) British Museum Add MS 6391, f.217.


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.