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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Sir William Hamilton (1730-1803), Diplomat and archaeologist

1757-58
Painting by Joshua Reynolds, half-length seated. Toledo Museum of Art (D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.822). ‘Painted by Sr Joshua Reynolds when he married’, i.e. 1758, and given by the sitter to his niece, Mrs Mary Dickenson, in 1785 (E. & F. Anson, Mary Hamilton, 1925, pp 253-54); it may have been reworked by Reynolds, and is dated 1757-72? by Mannings.

1768
Painting by Anton von Maron, ‘Maronne, Portrait in full length of Sir William and the late Lady Hamilton [243 x 183]’. Untraced, commissioned by Hamilton. Dispatched from the Palazzo Sessa in 1798 (B. Fothergill Sir William Hamilton, 1969, p 441; I. Jenkins & K. Sloan, Vases & Volcanoes: Sir William Hamilton and his Collection, exhibition catalogue, British Museum, 1996, pp 88, 92n75).

1770
Painting by David Allan, interior at Posilippo with Hamilton whole-length seated in a green coat (to which the star and ribbon of the Bath have been added), his (first) wife playing the harpsichord. Blair Castle (illus. I. Jenkins & K. Sloan, Vases & Volcanoes: Sir William Hamilton and his Collection, exhibition catalogue, British Museum, 1996, p 14). A replica, also dated 1770, is in another Scottish private collection, and a version was sold Christie's, 26 June 1925, lot 1.

1771
Painting by Pietro Fabris, a musical concert at Lord Fortrose's house in Naples: Hamilton playing the violin with the young Mozart and his father behind him. Scottish NPG (PG 2611; illus. I. Jenkins & K. Sloan, Vases & Volcanoes: Sir William Hamilton and his Collection, exhibition catalogue, British Museum, 1996, p 128). Fabris, the protégé of Hamilton, for whom he illustrated the Campi Phlegraei.

1772
Wedgwood medallion modelled by Joachim Smith, with the star of the Bath (R. Reilly and G. Savage, Wedgwood the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 182); another version from the same model, the drapery reduced along the bottom edge, engraved anon. 1784 (European Mag.), and see 1779 below.

1775
Painting by David Allan, see NPG 589.

1776-77
Painting by Joshua Reynolds, see NPG 680.

1776
Marble bust by Michael Foy, with the star of the Bath. Basil Deighton in 1924 (illus. Burl.Mag., XLV, 1924, p 87).

1777-78
Painting by Joshua Reynolds, The Society of Dilettanti.

1779
Wedgwood medallion, remodelled on a larger scale from the Smith medallion of 1772 (illus. R. Reilly and G. Savage, Wedgwood the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 183 and p.256, pl.IX; I. Jenkins & K. Sloan, Vases & Volcanoes: Sir William Hamilton and his Collection, exhibition catalogue, British Museum, 1996, p 160). The medallion was issued paired with that of the French antiquary and collector, the comte de Caylus.

1783
Painting by George Romney, half length with the star and ribbon of the Bath. National Gallery Washington (1970.17.133). Painted in London in November-December 1783. Engraved W. Sharp 1794.

1784
Medallion by James Tassie. Scottish NPG (PG 133; J. M. Gray, James and William Tassie, a biographical and critical sketch with a catalogue of their portrait medallions of modern personages, 1894, no.177).

c.1784
Drawing by Dominique Vivant-Denon, bust length. Private collection (illus. I. Jenkins & K. Sloan, Vases & Volcanoes: Sir William Hamilton and his Collection, exhibition catalogue, British Museum, 1996, p 127). Hamilton also appeared in an etching by Vivant-Denon, Le corps diplomatique à Naples, 1784 (illus. I. Jenkins & K. Sloan, Vases & Volcanoes: Sir William Hamilton and his Collection, exhibition catalogue, British Museum, 1996, p 126).

c.1789-90
Painting by H. D. Hamilton, bust length. Lennoxlove (illus. I. Jenkins & K. Sloan, Vases & Volcanoes: Sir William Hamilton and his Collection, exhibition catalogue, British Museum, 1996, p 264). Engraved W. T. Fry ‘from an original Drawing made at Naples, by C. Grignon’ (illus. ibid., p 296). A finished chalk study (illus. ibid., p 262), probably connected with the engraving by G. Morghen c.1790 (illus. ibid., p 296), sold Sotheby’s, Castle Howard, 2nd day, 12 November 1991, lot 531 as H. D. Hamilton. Miniature copies at Lennoxlove and the Victory Museum, Portsmouth; enamels by W. H. Craft, in the British Museum (1890.8.10.21; dated 1802), the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (illus. R. J. B. Walker, Miniatures, a selection of miniatures in the Ashmolean Museum, 1997, p 65), and sold Sotheby's, 1 March 1965, lot 35 (dated 1802).

c.1795?
Chalcedony intaglio by Filippo Rega. National Maritime Museum (illus. I. Jenkins & K. Sloan, Vases & Volcanoes: Sir William Hamilton and his Collection, exhibition catalogue, British Museum, 1996, p 104).

1797
Marble bust by Christopher Hewetson, perhaps unfinished. On 10 June 1797 Robert Fagan wrote that ‘Hewetson is at Naples doing Sir William and Lady’s busts’ (T. W. I. Hodgkinson, 'Christopher Hewetson, an Irish Sculptor in Rome', Wal. Soc., XXXIV, 1958, p 53).

1802
Painting by William Beechey, exhibited RA 1802 (170), a half length commissioned by Lord Nelson, who wrote to Beechey on 28 December 1801 (letter sold Sotheby’s, 5 June 1944, lot 202).

1805
Enamel on china by Thomas Baxter, exhibited RA 1805 (520).

Doubtful Portraits
Paintings ascribed to Ozias Humphry, sold Sotheby’s NY, 17 July 1998, lot 42; attributed to H. D. Hamilton, sold Sotheby’s, 4 July 2001, lot 46.



This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, 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.