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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield (1717-1790), General; defender of Gibraltar

Apart from two early portraits, Heathfield’s portraiture was the consequence of his gallant defence of Gibraltar. His appearance in several of the historical scenes is specific enough to be included here.

Unattributed miniature, bust-length oval (illus. Connoisseur, LXXXI, 1928, p 168).

Painting by Nathaniel Hone, half length, engraved R. Pollard 1782 ‘from the Original Picture in the Possession of Willm Fuller’ (the sitter’s daughter Anne married John Fuller in 1777); W. Angus (as after [W.?] Miller) 1782 (European Mag.); J. E. Mansfeld (Vienna).

Drawing by G. F. Koehler, General Eliott and his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant G. F. Koehler, in the King’s Bastion during the action at Gibraltar, whole-length figure, in uniform, pointing with his right hand, engraved T. Malton 1785? (illus. J. D. Prown, John Singleton Copley, 1966, II, fig.494). The figure of Eliott was separately engraved by F. Gregori, with minor alterations (his right hand tucked into his coat, standing before a sheer rock face) and several engravings were based on the head alone: by W. Angus 1785 (circular); J. Beugo 1794; J. Chapman 1796 (to right); R. Scott (to right and showing the star of the Bath on the wrong side), and an anon. print, Cock of the Rock, the hat badge made to resemble a cock’s comb.
A Wedgwood medallion of c.1786 (illus. R. Reilly and G. Savage, Wedgwood the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 189) also derived from the Koehler head.

Painting by George Carter, The Siege of Gibraltar, see NPG 1752.

Painting by Joshua Reynolds, three-quarter length standing, in the uniform of the 15th Light Dragoons with the star of the Bath and the key of Gibraltar in his hands. National Gallery (111; D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.578; J. Egerton, National Gallery Catalogues, The British School, 1998, pp 228-33). Exhibited RA 1788 (115). Engraved R. Earlom 1788 and several times in the 19th century. Copies include those at the Guildhall Art Gallery, London (63); at Bodorgan, Anglesey, and a miniature by H. Bone which belonged to J. T. Smith in 1828 (see D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, nos.578a-d).

From Reynolds’s portrait Samuel Percy modelled a wax bust (examples sold Sotheby’s, 10 June 1993, lot 212 from Stanton Harcourt; Sotheby’s, 12 December 1996, lot 205, and Christie’s, 2-3 July 1996, lot 161) and Peter Turnerelli a plaster bust, commissioned by the sitter’s son (exhibited Colnaghi, English Ancestors, 1983, no.64).

Painting by J. S. Copley, see NPG 170.

Medal by J-P. Droz, see NPG 6079.

Painting by Antonio Poggi, three-quarter length standing in uniform with hat and star of the Bath. Sotheby’s, 21 April 1983, lot 76. Engraved F. Bartolozzi 1788, J. Chapman (bust length). A smaller version in the National Army Museum (7681), the same size as the Bartolozzi plate. A drawing by Poggi, head only with hat, in the Scottish NPG (PG 2048; exhibited British Portraits, RA, 1956-57, no.654 as Copley) was possibly made in 1783 when Poggi visited Gibraltar, although the attitude much resembles the Reynolds portrait of 1787. A closely comparable bust-length miniature by W. Thick was sold Christie’s, 8 December 1982, lot 240.

Painting by Mather Brown, half length looking half right in uniform with the star of the Bath. Detroit Institute of Arts (D. Evans, Mather Brown: an early American artist in England, 1982, no.84). Exhibited RA 1791 (241).

Painting by Mather Brown, whole length in uniform with the star of the Bath, left arm extended. Pelham House, Lewes; East Sussex County Council (D. Evans, Mather Brown: an early American artist in England, 1982, no.85). Exhibited RA 1792 (138).

Drawing attributed to Johann Zoffany, half-length oval, resting a short sword across his left arm. Governor’s Residence, Gibraltar (GAC 16246; illus. G. C. Williamson & Lady Victoria Manners, John Zoffany, R.A., his life and works, 1920, f.p.134).

Painting by John Trumbull, The Sortie made by the Garrison of Gibraltar, 26 November 1781, shows Eliott standing in profile, right arm extended. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; commissioned by Antonio Poggi (illus. H. A. Cooper, John Trumbull, exhibition catalogue, Yale University Art Gallery, 1982, p 57). Engraved W. Sharp 1799. A version is in the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Engraved caricature by I. Cruikshank 1790, showing Heathfield seated with gouty feet in uniform, his hat pulled well down, training cats (of which he was inordinately fond) to drill (M. D. George, British Museum, Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires, VI, 7651; illus. J. Russell, Gibraltar Besieged, 1965, f.p.180).

Painting by J. S. Copley, The Defeat of the Floating Batteries on 13 September 1782, with Eliott mounted as the central figure. Guildhall Art Gallery, London (43), commissioned by the Corporation of the City of London 1783 (J. D. Prown, John Singleton Copley, 1966, II, fig.489, pp 447-57, with numerous preliminary sketches). Engraved W. Sharp 1810. Oil sketch in the Foundling Hospital; copies of 1810 in the Tate Gallery (N 787) and of 1906 by G. V. Shepton in the Bomann Museum, Celle.

A pastel by H. D. Hamilton, 'half length wearing uniform', was sold Sotheby’s, 4 July 2001, lot 155.

Heathfield monument by John Bacon sr., with a medallion portrait. Church of St Andrew, Buckland Monochorum, Devon.

Statue by J. C. Rossi. St Paul’s Cathedral (illus. R. Gunnis Dictionary of British Sculptors, 1968 ed., f.p.289). Rossi’s 'Monument to be erected in St Paul’s' exhibited RA 1824 (991) and his Model of the statue in St Paul’s exhibited RA 1826 (1018).

Doubtful Portraits
Several portraits, rushed out in 1782-83, bear no relation to the authentic images of Reynolds, Poggi and Koehler; they include engraved heads by Js.H (1782) and anon. (with pronounced beak nose, 1783); whole-length engravings pub. R. Sayer, ‘The victorious Governor of Gibraltar’ (illus. McGuffie, 1965, f.p.173) and by Martin after P. De Glim (1783); medallions by J. Weber, in armour (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, no.249), and Terry (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, no.246), and a Wedgwood medallion (illus. R. Reilly and G. Savage, Wedgwood the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 188), said to derive ‘from a medal’.

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.