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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Catherine Douglas (née Hyde), Duchess of Queensberry (1701-1777), Eccentric beauty and patron of writers

The best likeness of the Duchess in her youth is the miniature by Zincke, collection Duke of Buccleuch, engraved by H. Meyer, 1826. [1] Walpole, 14 July 1779, wrote to Lady Upper Ossory that 'Lady Jane Scott ... has found in a cabinet at Ham a most enchanting picture in enamel by Zincke of the Duchess of Queensberry, which the Duke always carried in his pocket ... in white with the hair all flowing, and beautiful as the Hours in Guido's "Aurora", and very like her to the last moment'. [2] The portrait was found in the house at Petersham, within the manor of Ham, which Lady Jane inherited from the, Duke of Queensberry. [3] A copy by Margaret (Smith), Countess of Lucan (d. 1814), is in the Portland collection. [4] A portrait of the Duchess as a shepherdess by Kneller, lent to the Second Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1867 (156) by the Earl of Essex, has sometimes been questioned. Her eldest sister Jane, however, married, 1718, the 3rd Earl of Essex and portraits of both were in the sale of Kneller's remaining works, sold by Cock, 18 April 1726, lot 74, Lady Catherine Hyde, and lot 248, The Countess of Essex. [5]
A half length by Mrs Delany, formerly in the collection of her sister Ann Granville, later owned by the latter's descendant Lady Llanover, is now known only from a 19th century engraving by J. Brown. [6] Zincke's miniature after 'a portrait by Mrs Delany formerly in her possession' was in the collection of Sir Arthur Harford, Bart. [7] The portrait of the Duchess with her husband and children in the Buccleuch collection, although lately attributed to Hudson, seems on stylistic grounds to be from the studio of Vanloo. A single portrait with head inclined against her left hand, is in the same collection with versions at Scone, Earl of Mansfield, attributed to Vanloo, and in the Clarendon collection; the latter is inscribed 1748, [8] probably the date of the type. The portrait was first engraved, unattributed, by J. Ogborne from a drawing by S. Harding, 1810, and in 1857 by W. Greatbach, wrongly as after Jervas. A pastel and oil replica of a portrait showing the sitter in old age, artist unknown, are at Drumlanrig, the former attributed to Catherine Read and apparently painted for Lord Thurlow c.1775. Versions of the type are the longer half length from the collection of the Duke of Sutherland and an oval head and shoulders belonging to Earl Cathcart, both in the Second Exhibition of National Portraits of 1867 (296 and 278).

1) Sir R. C. Hoare, History of Modern Wiltshire, III, 1826, p 79.
2) Lady Theresa Lewis, Lives of the Friends and Contemporaries of Lord Chancellor Clarendon: illustrative of Portraits in his Gallery, 1852, 33 (Countess of Upper Ossory), II, p 110.
3) Ibid, nn 18, 22.
4) R. W. Goulding, Welbeck Abbey Miniatures, 1916, p 159 (233).
5) F. Lugt, Repertoire des Catalogues de Ventes, 1600 (Three volumes have appeared to date covering sales 1600-1900). La Haye, 1938 (394).
6) The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 1st series, I, opposite p 4; Burke, Peerage, 1862, p 666.
7) J. Steegman, A Survey of Portraits in Welsh Houses, 1957-62, II, p 29 (22).
8) Information kindly supplied by R. Gibson, 1973, who points out that as with other copies in the Clarendon collection the dates inscribed are of the originals, not the copies.


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.