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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Charles James Fox (1749-1806), Whig statesman

Parliamentarian and statesman, 2nd son of 1st Baron Holland; MP 1768-1806; foreign secretary 1782; secretary of state 1783 and 1806.

‘His features, in themselves, dark, harsh, and saturnine, like Charles II, derived a sort of majesty from the addition of two black and shaggy eyebrows, which sometimes concealed, but more frequently developed, the workings of his mind ... His figure, broad, heavy, and inclined to corpulency, appeared destitute of elegance or grace, except the portion conferred on it by the emanations of intellect’ (Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, 1815).

'From the time of the American wars Fox assumed a blue coat and yellow waistcoat, imitating the ‘buff and blue’ colours of Washington’s army. These colours became the ‘uniform of the Fox club’ and the 'badge of the entire Whig party’ (George, 6th Earl of Albemarle, 1852).

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.