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Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Satirist and divine

The iconography of Swift is not impressive. He did not succeed in sitting to the best painters, although on 5 October 1710 he had visited Kneller with Delaval (the Portuguese envoy), only to find the painter away; on 6 December he told Stella ‘Congreve and Delaval have at last prevailed on Sir Godfrey Kneller to entreat me to let him draw my picture for nothing; but I know not yet when I shall sit’. No more was heard of the project. After he achieved literary fame with the Drapier’s Letters 1724-25 and Gulliver’s Travels 1726 his portrait was much sought after, but he remained in Ireland, where Bindon furnished indifferent, stereotyped images, and otherwise the earlier Jervas patterns were copied.

1709-10
Painting by Charles Jervas, see under NPG 4407.

1718
Painting by Charles Jervas, see NPG 258.

1730
Drawing by Isaac Whood, profile bust wearing turban, signed and dated. National Gallery of Ireland (2614).

c.1730
Unattributed painting, half-length in wig, gown and bands and open book bottom centre inscribed Gullivers Travels. Christie’s, 10 November 1961, lot 91.

c.1730?
Drawing by George Vertue, bewigged bust in profile within a drawn oval, inscribed in ink below. Knowsley Hall sale, Christie’s, 2nd day, 20 October 1953, lot 307, as from Strawberry Hill. One of a set of portraits in an album.

1735
Painting by Francis Bindon, standing whole-length; Howth Castle, see NPG 5319.

c.1735-40
Painting by Francis Bindon, seated three-quarter-length, a tightly-rolled paper in his right hand, behind him a bas-relief of a seated Muse. Christie’s, 8 October 1943, lot 174. A half-length version, the scroll inscribed Drapiers Letters, with an ink well to the left and bookshelves to the right, sold Sotheby’s, 15 June 1955, lot 78, and 23 July 1958, lot 194. A half-length at Trinity College, Dublin (A. Crookshank & D. Webb, Paintings and Sculptures in Trinity College, Dublin, 1990, p 131, no.3) seems close to this type.

c.1735
Painting by Francis Bindon. Three-quarter-length versions in the NPG (5319) and the National Gallery of Ireland (598).

1739
Painting by Francis Bindon, whole-length, standing before St Patrick’s Cathedral, his cap in his right hand, receiving from an attendant cherub a scroll inscribed Qu Anne’s Letters of the First Fruits … (in 1710 Swift negotiated the remission of the first fruits and twentieth parts, fees paid to the Crown by the clergy). St Patrick’s Deanery, Dublin, where placed in 1739 (F. R. Falkiner, 'Of the Portraits, Busts and Engravings of Swift and their Artists' in The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, XXII, 1908, p 27). Engraved twice by A. Miller: whole-length 1743, and half-length 1744 with foreground books inscribed Horatius and Plautus, undated (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 52, 53; illus. A. S. Marks, 'Seeking an Enduring Image: Rupert Barber, Jonathan Swift and the Profile Portrait', Swift Studies, 16, 2001, p 69). A later copy in the Government Art Collection (2800; illus. The Public Catalogue Foundation, Government Art Collection, 2007, p 31), shows an additional paper in the left foreground.
A posthumous whole-length derivation by Robert Home in Trinity College, Dublin (F. R. Falkiner, 'Of the Portraits, Busts and Engravings of Swift and their Artists' in The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, XXII, 1908, p 48; A. Crookshank & D. Webb, Paintings and Sculptures in Trinity College, Dublin, 1990, p 131, no.2).

1740
Painting by Francis Bindon, half-length, engraved C. Picart 1806, similar to Bindon’s c.1735-40 pattern. Untraced, painted for Mr Nugent, later Earl Nugent; Stowe sale, 23rd day, 14 September 1848, lot 301, bought W. Robertson. Nugent had written to Swift’s nurse, Mrs Whiteway, in April 1740 begging her to tell Bindon that he ‘would have the picture no more than a head upon a three-quarter cloth, to match one which I now have of Mr Pope’ (F. R. Falkiner, 'Of the Portraits, Busts and Engravings of Swift and their Artists' in The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, XXII, 1908, p 31; H. Williams ed., The Correspondence of Jonathan Swift, 1963-65, V, p 183).

Drawing by ‘Markham’ (otherwise unrecorded), three-quarter-length seated, a book in his right hand, engraved A. van Haecken 1740 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 16), another state signed Burford 1744 (each illus. National Gallery of Ireland, Prints & Sculpture, 1988, p 367). Adapted from Bindon patterns. A related bust-length oval water-colour is in the National Gallery of Ireland, ascribed to Rupert Barber (7060; illus. Summary Cat. of Drawings, National Gallery of Ireland, 1981, p 6).

c.1740-45
Painting by Francis Bindon, half-length, with white flowing hair, red turban and brown gown. National Gallery of Ireland (4069; N. Figgis & B. Rooney, Irish Paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland, 2001, pp 86-88). The face mask resembles those of the earlier Bindon portraits. Versions with Mrs Hickson 1936; in the Nuneham Park sale, Christie’s, 11 June 1948, lot 84 (Catalogue of Pictures belonging to Lord Harcourt at Nuneham Park, 1806, no.17; Sir George Scharf’s Sketch Books, 75:47; E. W. Harcourt ed., The Harcourt Papers, III, p 252), and with Lady Gore-Booth 1959; a fourth lent to Marble Hill 2001 from a private collection (illus. The Guardian, 30 January 2001), inscribed as bequeathed by Swift to his housekeeper, Mrs Ridgeway. A variant, the head turned more to front, was with G. R. Gardner 1957. F. R. Falkiner, 'Of the Portraits, Busts and Engravings of Swift and their Artists' in The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, XXII, 1908, pp 35-36, had tentatively equated this type with Bindon’s 1740 Nugent pattern, but Picart’s 1807 engraving disproves this (see below).

Posthumous
1745
Death masks: two at Trinity College, Dublin, one without teeth and carved open eyes; a second with teeth and closed eyes; a third example, from the same mould as the first Trinity mask, is at Princeton University NJ (T. G. Wilson in English Literature, III, iii, July 1962, pp 58-68, all three masks illus. f.p.56, the captions of pls 2 and 3 transposed).

The following profiles by Rupert Barber c.1745-52 may have been based on the sight of Swift’s corpse; at best Barber could have caught only a glimpse of Swift in his final secluded years (A. Marks 'Seeking an Enduring Image: Rupert Barber, Jonathan Swift and the Profile Portrait', Swift Studies, 16, 2001, pp 49, 52).

c.1745-50
Pastel medallion profile, with surrounding oak leaves and books (derived from A. Miller’s 1744 engraving of the Bindon 1739 portrait, see above), including the text from the Petition of Mrs Harris: … excellencies/Justices of Ireland/ … [1711]. Bryn Mawr College PA (A. Marks 'Seeking an Enduring Image: Rupert Barber, Jonathan Swift and the Profile Portrait', Swift Studies, 16, 2001, pp 53, 70-72, illus. pp 35, 77; A. Crookshank & the Knight of Glin, Ireland’s Painters, 2002, p 87), identified by A. Marks, 'Seeking an Enduring Image: Rupert Barber, Jonathan Swift and the Profile Portrait', Swift Studies, 16, 2001, p 53 as that from Dr Richard Mead’s sale, 1st day, 20 March 1754, lot 38, ‘Jonathan Swift, D.D. a profile in crayons by Mr Barber. This etched by Mr Wilson and prefixed to his life written by Lord Orrery’. Two etchings dated 1751 by Benjamin Wilson (A. Marks, 'Seeking an Enduring Image: Rupert Barber, Jonathan Swift and the Profile Portrait', Swift Studies, 16, 2001, p 65, illus. pp 66-67), used for the Dublin and London editions of the Earl of Orrery’s Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr Jonathan Swift; these rather crude plates were improved by S. F. Ravenet 1752 and S. Wheatley for later editions of Orrery’s Remarks.

Bronzed plaster bust by John Cheere, with some hair on his head, wearing gown and bands. York Art Gallery, from Kirkleatham (T. Friedman & T. Clifford, The Man at Hyde Park Corner, exhibition catalogue, Temple Newsam, Leeds, and Marble Hill, Twickenham, 1974, no.104, illus. pl.16); derived from the Bindon pattern.

c.1745
Pastel medallion profile. By descent in the Le Fanu family (A. Marks, 'Seeking an Enduring Image: Rupert Barber, Jonathan Swift and the Profile Portrait', Swift Studies, 16, 2001, pp 52-53, illus. p 46; see F. R. Falkiner, 'Of the Portraits, Busts and Engravings of Swift and their Artists' in The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, XXII, 1908, p 53; D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 338, where equated with the Mead pastel, but see below). A watercolour copy by Thomas Alfred Jones is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (f.66; illus. T. Scott ed., Prose Works of Swift, XII, 1908, f.p.54; Victoria and Albert Museum, Watercolours Cat., 1980, p.209). Probably the first of Barber’s profiles of Swift.

1749
Marble bust by L.-F. Roubiliac, wearing turban and gown. Trinity College, Dublin, commissioned in 1745 and delivered in 1749 (A. Crookshank & D. Webb, Paintings and Sculptures in Trinity College, Dublin, 1990, p 132, no.4). Copied by Albert Power (Dublin art market c.1980).

c.1752
Enamel miniature, profile to left, showing in the foreground Gulliver’s Travels and Drapier’s Letters and the open text: Verses on the Death of Dean Swift/I stood for Liberty … . Sotheby’s, 28 October 1974, lot 15 as monogrammed by André Rouquet; Christie’s, 16 December 1975, lot 22 as monogrammed by Rupert Barber (A. Marks, 'Seeking an Enduring Image: Rupert Barber, Jonathan Swift and the Profile Portrait', Swift Studies, 16, 2001, pp 76, 78-79, illus. p 47); from the collection of the Earl of Charlemont according to an inscription verso. The head is distinguished by the emphatic fold in the chin and the wispy white hair on the top of his head, as in the Folkenflik pastel (see below). The delicacy of this profile seems far removed from Barber’s pastels. A. Marks, 'Seeking an Enduring Image: Rupert Barber, Jonathan Swift and the Profile Portrait', Swift Studies, 16, 2001 (p 78) suggested the collar indicated Barber was using one of the 1751 Wilson etchings as an aide-memoire.

Pastel medallion profile, with white wispy hair as in the enamel (see above), and in the right foreground an open book inscribed Verses on the Death of Dean Swift. Prof. and Mrs Robert Folkenflik, University of California at Irvine; from Christie’s, 20 April 1928, lot 4 as by John Russell (A. Marks, 'Seeking an Enduring Image: Rupert Barber, Jonathan Swift and the Profile Portrait', Swift Studies, 16, 2001, pp 76, 78, 80, illus. p 48). The appearance of a collar suggested to Marks (A. Marks, 'Seeking an Enduring Image: Rupert Barber, Jonathan Swift and the Profile Portrait', Swift Studies, 16, 2001, p 78) that Barber was using one of the 1751 Wilson etchings as an aide-memoire.

The Duke of Buccleuch owned a Barber-type enamel of Swift (Miniatures at Montagu House, 1896, p 85, no.40; H. A. Kennedy, ‘Portrait Miniatures in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch’, Studio, special number, 1917, p 42).

by 1752
Unattributed gesso acquired by Ralph Howard, shipped from Livorno in 1752 (Ralph Howard to James Tyrrell, Florence, 25 November 1752; National Library of Ireland, Wicklow Papers PC227, see N. Figgis & B. Rooney, Irish Paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland, 2001, p 85n24).

by 1755
Unattributed marble bust carved in Rome for Lord Charlemont, sent to Dublin in 1755 (Parker to Charlemont, Rome, 26 July 1755), HMC Charlemont, I, 1891, p 218). F. R. Falkiner, 'Of the Portraits, Busts and Engravings of Swift and their Artists' in The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, XXII, 1908, p 49, listed a bust of Swift at Charlemont House in 1846.

c.1760?
Marble bust by Patrick Cunningham, bald-headed, with bands. St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, presented 1776. Exhibited Society of Artists, Dublin 1766, no.77; F. R. Falkiner, 'Of the Portraits, Busts and Engravings of Swift and their Artists' in The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, XXII, 1908, pp 47-48. A plaster version is in St Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin (illus. E. O’Brien, A. Crookshank, Portrait of Irish Medicine, 1984, see p 293).

A bust by Peter Scheemakers belonged to H. Labouchère in 1857 (R. Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, 1968, p 342; I. Roscoe, ‘Peter Scheemakers’, Wal. Soc., LXI, 1999, p 261).

Marble bust by Thomas Kirk, with some hair, wearing bands. Christie’s, Adare Manor, Ireland, 9-10 June 1982, lot 211.

Unattributed wax medallion in the Harcourt sale, Sotheby’s, 10 June 1993, lot 246.

Doubtful Portraits
Unattributed half-length, wearing bands. Trinity College, Dublin, from R. C. Mason & J. H. Bernard 1906 (A. Crookshank & D. Webb, Paintings and Sculptures in Trinity College, Dublin, 1990, p 131, no.1).

Drawing attributed to Bindon, half-length with long dark hair and cap, inscribed and dated 1735. National Gallery of Ireland (2645).



This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, 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.