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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Charles James Fox (1749-1806), Whig statesman

‘Mr Fox spoke of the Arts and said Commerce must support them. He entertains the highest opinion of Sir Joshua Reynolds, -- and thinks very favorably of Northcote & Opie. -- Of West he spoke with contempt & thinks slightly of the works of Fuseli’ (Joseph Farington, Diary, 18 September 1794).

Painting by William Hoare as a child ‘aged three’ with a dog. Private collection (illus. L. G. Mitchell, Charles James Fox, 1992, f.p.148), from Lady Dimsdale’s sale, Christie’s, 1 May 1875, lot 153, as Reynolds.

Painting by Joshua Reynolds, half length. Sotheby’s, New York, 11 April 1984, lot 21A (D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.672). Studio version at Eton College.

Painting by Joshua Reynolds, three-quarter length, with his aunt Lady Sarah Bunbury and cousin Lady Susan Fox Strangways, the composition derived from Latin verses by the eleven-year-old Fox. Private collection (D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.677). Engraved J. Watson 1762. A reduced version showing Fox whole length and an extended landscape is in the same collection. The figure of Fox alone engraved W. Read 1859 as after Ozias Humphry (conceivably from the unattributed miniature of Fox as a boy of thirteen formerly at Holland House; cat., 1904, p 193, no.2); miniature attributed to Humphry after Reynolds exhibited Royal House of Guelph, New Gallery, London, 1891 (1066) lent J. Whitehead.

Drawing by H. D. Hamilton, half-length oval. Private collection.

Chalk drawing by John Downman. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (1949). Said to have been made for ‘the beautiful Mrs Crewe’ (G. C. Williamson, John Downman, 1907, p LIV). A small painting on copper by Downman, dated 1778, sold Christie’s, 21 December 1950, lot 70/1, conceivably shows Fox (illus. E. K. Waterhouse, Dictionary of British Eighteenth-century Painters, 1981, p 113).

Painting by Joshua Reynolds, three-quarter length. Holkham (D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.674). Painted for the 1st Lord Crewe who gave it to the Earl of Leicester. Exhibited RA 1784 (108). Engraved J. Jones 1784. The most familiar painted image of Fox and the most copied. Fox had insisted that a draft of his India Bill be included on the table, despite that fact that the Fox-North coalition ministry had ended before the picture was completed.

A replica for Mrs Armistead (Mrs Fox) paid for in 1789 is now in a private collection. Versions recorded with the Marquess of Bute in 1861 (Sir George Scharf's Sketch Books, 60/115) and at Euston Hall (E. Farrer, Portraits in Suffolk Houses (West), 1908, p 108, no.23). Two copies are at Hertford College, Oxford (Mrs R. L. Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the possession of the University, Colleges and City and County of Oxford, III, pp 273-74), another was sold Christie’s, 17 October 1986, lot 113. Of many reduced copies, examples are at Castle Howard; Somerset House (GAC 2177), the Palace of Westminster, and Pembroke College, Oxford (Mrs R. L. Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the possession of the University, Colleges and City and County of Oxford, III, p 247). Others were at Hopetoun House (sold Christie’s, 19-20 July 1993, lot 528), in the Keppel collection (Christie’s, 19 June 1911, lot 7) and at West Harling Hall. Named copyists include G. P. A. Healy (Versailles); John Jackson (formerly at Panshanger and at Trentham Hall); John Rising (examples at Petworth, Hardwick, and Milton), and Paterson (Christie’s, 5 February 1842, lot 96).

Pastel copies were made by Samuel Cotes (Phillips, 17 March 1998, lot 4) and William Lane 1808 (Royal Collection; Sir Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, I, 1969, no.1042). A drawing by Lane was in the St Anne’s Hill sale, Phillips, 26 November 1924, lot 509. A watercolour copy by Lady Diana Beauclerk was formerly at Holland House (cat., 1904, p 30, no.177a).

Miniature copies include examples by William Bate dated 1831 (Dumas Egerton loan to the Scottish NPG, PGL 834; illus. P. Caffrey, John Comerford and the Portrait Miniature in Ireland c.1620-1850, exhibition catalogue, Kilkenny Archaeological Soc., 1999, p 57); Henry Bone dated 1792 (Sotheby’s, 28 April 1981, lot 229) and 1818 (formerly at Woburn Abbey; Sir George Scharf's Sketch Books, 89/17); Charles Muss dated 1820 (Louvre; formerly at Holland House (cat., 1904, no.282)), a third sold Christie’s, 27 February 1968, lot 68. An unattributed miniature version sold Sotheby's, 18 December 1995, lot 143 (with another of Edmund Burke after Romney).

Painting by Richard Cosway, bust length, untraced, etched by Cosway (Cosway pinxt ad vivum et sculpt, 4 June 1782; illus. T. Gipponi ed., Maria e Ricardo Cosway, 1998, p 71). One of only two plates etched by Cosway (S. Lloyd, Richard & Maria Cosway, exhibition catalogue, Edinburgh, NPG, 1995, no.80).

Etching by J. Sayers, Vox Populi, whole length standing, fists clenched (M. D. George, British Museum, Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires, V, 6054).

Engraving by J. Strutt after a painting by ‘Gavinus Hamilton’, half length, pub. 1 July 1794. Possibly H. D. Hamilton was meant; crayon portraits of Fox by H. D. Hamilton (who was in Italy 1782-91) were formerly at Carton and at Castletown in Ireland (Wal. Soc., II, 1913, p 106).

Drawing by Nathaniel Dance.

before 1784
Painting given by Fox to the Corporation of Tain on his election as member for the Northern Burghs in 1784; sent to Edinburgh in November 1856 for conservation (J. Barron, Northern Highlands in the Nineteenth Century, III, 1913, p 362; information by courtesy of Helen Smailes).

Unattributed painting, half length. Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass. (1934.65; illus. Fogg Art Museum, European Paintings, 1990, p 140). Variously attributed to West or Abbott; conceivably by J. S. Copley. The distant view of St Paul’s Covent Garden presumably refers to the Westminster elections of May 1784, when the church portico was the setting for violent political meetings; it was later proposed that Westmacott’s monument to Fox should stand there.

Miniature by Joseph Daniel. Christie’s, 17 March 1987, lot 120 (previously Sotheby’s, 18 December 1972, lot 75, as Abraham Daniel).

Painting by Thomas Hickey.

Wash drawing by Lady Diana Beauclerk, three-quarter length seated. Sotheby’s, 4 May 1972, lot 203. Other drawings by her of Fox were formerly at Woolbeding (illus. Country Life, CII, 1947, p 330) and Holland House (cat., 1904, no.195 mistakenly described as after Reynolds).

Miniature attributed to Richard Crosse. Christie’s, 21 October 1997, lot 79. See c.1791 below.

Miniature by Thomas Day, see NPG 6292.

Medals by W. Lutwyche and Thomas Wyon sr. (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, nos.323-25).

Wedgwood medallion attributed to John Flaxman (illus. R. Reilly and G. Savage, Wedgwood the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 144). See also medallion by Tassie, before 1791 below.

Unattributed miniature. Royal Collection (R. J. B. Walker, The eighteenth and early nineteenth century Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1992, no.355).

Marble bust by Joseph Nollekens, see NPG 139.

before 1791
Medallion by James Tassie, modelled by W. Whitley (J. M. Gray, James and William Tassie, a biographical and critical sketch with a catalogue of their portrait medallions of modern personages, 1894, no.134). Plaster in the Scottish NPG (PG 298). Closely resembling the Wedgwood medallion of c.1790.

A cameo and a cornelian modelled by Barnet are listed in A Descriptive Catalogue of a general collection of ancient and modern engraved gems ... by James Tassie, modeller; arranged and described by R. E. Raspe, nos.14187-88.

Miniature by Richard Crosse. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (illus. Portrait Miniatures in the Royal Ontario Museum, 1981, p 35). Closely resembling the portrait by Reynolds of 1782-84 but with a double row of buttons on the waistcoat. Crosse received two payments from ‘Mr Fox’, on 27 February 1783 and 25 February 1791 (Wal. Soc., XVII, 1929, pp 75, 80).

Painting by K. A. Hickel, The House of Commons 1793-94, see NPG 745.

Painting by K. A. Hickel, The Opposition 1793-94, whole length, addressing the House. Private collection (illus. R. J. B. Walker, National Portrait Gallery, Regency Portraits, II, pl.1511-12). Sketch for a projected large canvas.

Intaglio by Nathaniel Marchant (G. Seidmann, 'Nathaniel Marchant, Gem-Engraver 1739-1816', Wal. Soc., LIII, 1987, p 75, no.135). Exhibited RA 1797 (1003). Fox ‘sat in so restless and unsteady a manner that Marchant could make nothing of [tracing a silhouette]’ (Joseph Farington, Diary, 15 December 1798). P. Ettinger, Burlington Magazine, XLV, 1924, p 88, described an unsigned intaglio on sardonyx attributed to Karl Leberecht.

Painting by K. A. Hickel, see NPG 743.

Medal by W. Whitley (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, no.388).

Miniature by Harold Credoe, sold Christie’s, 15 May 1979, lot 87 (illus. D. Foskett, A Dictionary of British Miniature Painters, 1972, II, pl.66, no.187).

Unattributed drawings, see NPG 1310a & b.

Drawing by Henry Edridge, seated. Private collection (illus. L. G. Mitchell, Charles James Fox, 1992, f.p.149). Engraved C. Turner 1806 from a drawing belonging to Mrs Fox (presumably that in the St Anne’s Hill sale, Phillips, 3rd day, 26 November 1924, lot 505). A close variant, differing only in background detail, and also dated 1796, in a private Scottish collection.

Drawing by Henry Edridge, half-length seated. British Museum (1891.5.11.41). Edridge exhibited drawings of Fox RA 1796 (685) and 1798 (719).

Wooden bust by George Leader. Sotheby’s, 8-9 December 1988, lot 301.

Painted terracotta bust by Lawrence Gahagan. Government Art Collection (O.86). Another, without drapery, dated 1800, in the Athelstan Museum, Malmesbury. A plaster cast, attributed to Garrard after Gahagan, sold Sotheby’s, 10 December 1987, lot 210.

Miniature by Henry Bone three-quarter length seated. Christie’s, 14 October 1998, lot 133. The composition repeats Lawrence’s Lord Auckland (1792; Christ Church, Oxford), substituting Fox’s head.

Medals by J. G. Hancock (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, nos.467, 488).

Painting by J. T. Barber, bust length, engraved by A. Mackenzie 1799.

Painting by Thomas Lawrence, half length. Private collection (K. Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence: a complete catalogue of the oil paintings, 1989, no.307). Lawrence was painting Fox at St Anne’s Hill in November 1800 (Joseph Farington, Diary, 4 November 1800). He supplied a version to Mr Bouverie in 1806 and a copy by John Simpson was in the Lawrence sale, 18 June 1831, under lot 79. Fox’s nephew said the portrait ‘was the worst ever painted of so eminent a man by so eminent an artist’ (G. O. Trevelyan, Macaulay, 1961 ed., I, pp 196-97); it was copied by Samuel Lane (Joseph Farington, Diary, 5, 12 March 1801) and miniatures by Horace Hone were based upon it, exhibited RA 1810 (631) and 1812 (679); examples dated 1810 (Christie’s, 11 July 1985, lot 390), and 1811 (Brooks’s, London); an undated version sold Phillips, 10 November 1998, lot 215.

Wash drawing by Robert Dighton, profile. Palace of Westminster (R. J. B. Walker, A Catalogue of paintings, drawings, engravings and sculpture in The Palace of Westminster compiled during 1959-77, 1988, I, p 129). A bust-length oval by ‘Dighton’ engraved R. Newton 1801.

Marble bust by Joseph Nollekens, see NPG 3887.

Pastel by J. R. Smith, three-quarter length seated, Principles of the Wigs [sic] at his side. Exhibited RA 1802 (346). Engraved S. W. Reynolds 1802, re-issued 1806 with an open window replacing the books on the table. Probably the ‘large crayon’ by J. R. Smith of Fox seated in his library, in the St Anne’s Hill sale, Phillips, 3rd day, 26 November 1924, lot 514. Pastel versions sold Christie’s, 10 July 1984, lot 153, and 14 July 1999, lot 60; another in Brooks's, London; a three-quarter length in oils, said to be dated 1808, sold Christie's, 27 June 1980, lot 134.
A posthumous portrait by Thomas Phillips (Sotheby’s, 16 May 1990, lot 57), dateable 1808 from the Phillips Sitter Book (no.266 ‘composed from various’), was based closely on Smith’s picture. A ‘small square miserable’ copy by William Allan sold Christie’s, 18 July 1874, lot 96.

Drawing by E. F. Burney, engraved W. Holl from a Drawing by Burney in 1802 and H. Meyer, with a different head, from a drawing by Burney in 1806.

Marble bust by Anne Seymour Damer. Louvre (illus. Joseph Farington, Diary, V, f.p.1848). Exhibited RA 1803 (1018). Fox, unhappily, seems to resemble Napoleon, Farington remarking it was ‘not a very good likeness’ (11 September 1802).

Painting by James Lonsdale, exhibited RA 1803 (438).

Wax medallion by Samuel Percy. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Possibly that exhibited RA 1803 (1027); waxes by Percy sold Sotheby’s, 16 May 1957, lot 96, and Christie’s, 10 June 1993, lot 236, from Stanton Harcourt.

Painting by John Opie whole length. Holkham. Exhibited RA 1805 (82). Opie is said to have used Nollekens’s bust to complete his portrait, Fox proving a distracted sitter (J. T. Smith, Nollekens and his TImes, ed. W. Whitten, 1920, II, p 221). Three-quarter length versions at Temple Newsam, Leeds; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; University of Western Ontario, and sold Sotheby’s, 16 July 1975, lot 64, and 14 July 1999, lot 40. A copy sold Sotheby’s, 14 July 1999, lot 39.
Henry Bone copied the composition in 1805 (Royal Collection; R. J. B. Walker, The eighteenth and early nineteenth century Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1992, no.779); a preparatory drawing, dated July 1805, in the NPG Bone albums (R. Walker, 'Henry Bone's Pencil Drawings in the National Portrait Gallery', Wal. Soc., 1999, no.206), and copied the head alone (Berkeley Castle). A Bone enamel of 1818 was set in a snuff box for the Duke of Bedford (preparatory drawing NPG; R. Walker, 'Henry Bone's Pencil Drawings in the National Portrait Gallery', Wal. Soc., 1999, no.208), and there are other preparatory drawings by him, reduced versions, in the NPG Bone albums (R. Walker, 'Henry Bone's Pencil Drawings in the National Portrait Gallery', Wal. Soc., 1999, no.205, dated September 1805, and no.207, dated 1818). An enamel copy by William Bone is in the National Gallery of Ireland (5578; illus. P. Caffrey, Treasures to Hold, Irish and English Miniatures 1650-1850 from the National Gallery of Ireland Collection, 2000, p 134) and a miniature copy by William Derby was recorded at Knowsley (Sir George Scharf's Sketch Books, 63/1).

Wax bust by Catherine Andras. Victoria and Albert Museum (414.1362.1885; illus. B. Rackham, Catalogue of the Schreiber Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, II, Earthenware, 1930, pl.75). A model exhibited RA 1805 (762). Engraved anon. 1807. Other examples sold Sotheby’s, 30 November 1964, lot 80 (dated 1805), and Bonham’s, 21 November 1996, lot 3.

Painting by Henry Richter, engraved S. Freeman.

Painting by Samuel Drummond, half length, engraved W. Ridley 1806.

Death mask taken by Joseph Nollekens (Joseph Farington, Diary, 19 September 1806). A cast in the Department of Anatomy, University of Edinburgh, from the Edinburgh Phrenological Society (Death Masks and Life Masks, Edinburgh University, [1988], p 5).

Miniature enamel attributed to J. L. Richter, in old age. National Gallery of Ireland (3587).

Commemorative medals by T. Webb, W. Whitley and Peter Wyon, and anon. (L. Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1760-1960: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV, 1980, nos.604-609).

Enamel by Miss Jones, exhibited RA 1807 (879).

Bust by George Garrard. Uppark, destroyed by fire 1989 and replaced with a copy. Exhibited RA 1807 (1099).

Wax by Peter Rouw. Exhibited RA 1808 (790). Examples in the Victoria and Albert Museum (1063.1871), and formerly at Holland House.

Bust by W. J. Coffee (R. Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors, 1968 ed., p 109).

Impression from an intaglio by J. Warwick, exhibited RA 1813 (551).

Drawing by William Lane, Mr Fox and his Friends, see NPG 2076.

Monument by Richard Westmacott jr., Fox supported by Liberty, mourned by Peace and thanked by Africa. Westminster Abbey (illus. M. Busco, Sir Richard Westmacott, 1994, p 70). Alternative designs by Thomas Stothard in Manchester City Art Gallery and in the Victoria and Albert Museum (7344; illus. J. Physick, Designs for British Sculpture, 1969, p 166).

Statue by Richard Westmacott jr., whole-length seated, the Magna Carta in his right hand. Bloomsbury Square, London (illus. M. Busco, Sir Richard Westmacott, 1994, p 73). Engraved S. W. Reynolds and W. Ward 1817. A bronze model formerly at Holland House. The head based on Nollekens’s 1801 bust. Separate marble busts by Westmacott sold Christie’s, 28 January 1988, lot 189, and formerly at Alscot Park; bronze busts sold Sotheby’s, 15 July 1998, lot 38 (as Nollekens), and in Brooks’s, London.

Marble bust by Federico Nicolini. National Maritime Museum. Formerly at Clandon Park (Sir George Scharf's Sketch Books, 111/34a). Similar to the draped ‘Roman’ Nollekens of 1802.

Marble bust by William Behnes. Schloss Herrenhausen.

Marble statue by E. H. Baily. Palace of Westminster (illus. B. Read, Victorian Sculpture, 1982, p 83). Model exhibited RA 1857 (1210).

Miniature by Nathaniel Plimer sold Christie’s, 17 March 1987, lot 70. A miniature by ‘A. Plimer’ was formerly at Holland House (cat., 1904, p 193, no.3).

Unattributed drawing, half-length seated. Victoria and Albert Museum (E.3276.1948).

Watercolour miniature and a pencil outline by William Grimaldi (Rev. A. Grimaldi, A Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings & Engravings by and after William Grimaldi, 1873, pp 22, 49, nos.134, 160).

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.