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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland (1705-1774), Whig statesman

Portraits of Holland, who sat to the leading artists of the day, survive principally in the Ilchester collections descended to Teresa, Viscountess Galway, only surviving child of the 7th Earl of Ilchester. These include Melbury, home of the sitter's elder brother Stephen Fox, created 1st Earl of Ilchester, 1756, and Holland House which had passed, 1889, on the death of the widow of the 4th and last Lord Holland to the 5th Earl of Ilchester. [1] The house was destroyed by enemy action in World War II.
A portrait, whole length, with gamekeeper and dogs, was painted in Rome by Antonio David in 1732 as was the portrait of Stephen Fox's friend the Hon. Charles Hamilton. Both were transferred to Melbury (117, 113) in 1872 from Redlynch, another Ilchester seat. A miniature by Zincke, with a similar head, is in the Bristol collection (Ickworth, 34). A pastel by Pond signed and dated 1737 (Melbury, 33) makes the sitter look rather young for his age. In the well-known Hogarth group of Lord Hervey (see All Known Portraits) and his friends painted c.1738, Holland is shown holding a plan, an allusion perhaps to his post as surveyor-general of works. Ranelagh Barret produced a copy (Melbury, 40); a small oval portrait, unattributed and formerly at Holland House (356), is of about the same date. A three-quarter, given by Lord Rivers to Melbury (135) from Mistley Hall, Essex, in 1856, now on loan to the Gallery (NPG 2078), is very plausibly attributed to Eccardt after Vanloo but whether he painted it under Vanloo's supervision before his master's return to France in 1742, or independently later, remains in doubt. A head by Liotard owned by Walpole was still at Strawberry Hill in 1804. [2] The engraving by McArdell is lettered Liotard pinxt 1754 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 71) and another, artist unknown, was published by S. Harding in 1798. The two Reynolds portraits were painted between 1762 and 1764. On 5 May 1761 Walpole wrote to G. Montagu that Hogarth 'had promised, if Mr Fox would sit as he liked, to make as good a picture as Vandyke or Rubens could'. [3] A head, engraved by J. Haynes in 1782 (F. O'Donoghue and Sir Henry M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits ... in the British Museum, 1908-25, 1), formerly in Ireland's possession, was given to Elizabeth, Lady Holland by General Fox. [4] Another version acquired by John Calcraft, a political associate of Holland's until 1763, is now in the collection of Major D. C. D. Ryder. A head by Ramsay, hitherto known only by McArdell's engraving of 1762 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 72) appeared at Parke-Bernet's, 25 September 1968, lot 18.
A small whole length of a man in a garden with classical pavilion, with John Anderson of New York in 1913, was said to represent the sitter. The portrait was signed and dated Edward Penny, 1756, but nothing more is known of it.

1) G. E. Cockayne, The Complete Peerage, revised by V. Gibbs (and others), 1910-59, VI, p 545 and p 538, note c.
2) G. P. Harding, List of Portraits ... in Various Mansions of the United Kingdom ... MS, c.1804, NPG archives, II, p 201.
3) Catalogue of Pictures belonging to the Earl of Ilchester at Holland House, 1904 with Addenda and Corrigenda, 1939 (164).
4) Catalogue of Pictures belonging to the Earl of Ilchester at Holland House, 1904 with Addenda and Corrigenda, 1939 (164).


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.