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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham (1730-1782), Prime Minister

Painting by Enoch Seeman, half-length painted oval, as Lord Higham. Private collection, by family descent. Presumably the portrait exhibited Leeds 1868 (3196) as after Hoppner ‘at the age of 16’, lent by the Ladies Wentworth Fitzwilliam.

Painting by Charles Phillips, three-quarter length standing holding a shepherd’s crook, with his sister Lady Anne Wentworth. Private collection, by family descent.

Onyx cameo by Lorenz Natter (illus. Apollo, CXX, 1984, p 115, without location).

Painting by Benjamin Wilson, three-quarter length standing. Christie’s, 11 June 1948, lot 68 (when in poor condition). Painted prior to his investiture as KG in 1760. Engraved R. Houston, and anon. 1782 (half-length oval, with the Garter ribbon and star added; Universal Mag.).

Unfinished painting by Joshua Reynolds, three-quarter length seated, with his secretary Edmund Burke. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (653; D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.1863). Commemorating Rockingham’s short-lived administration of 1765-66; the composition derived from Van Dyck’s group of the Earl of Strafford and his Secretary which Rockingham then owned.

Painting by Joshua Reynolds, see NPG 460.

Painting by Joshua Reynolds, half-length, similar to NPG 406 but showing the Garter collar and star more prominently. Private collection (D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.1862). Engraved J. K. Sherwin 1797, E. Bocquet 1811.

Painting by Benjamin Killingbeck, a perfunctory whole-length, with his jockey in front of Wentworth Woodhouse. Sotheby’s, 6 July 1983, lot 323.

Painting by George Romney, commissioned by the Duke of Richmond. Untraced (Rev. John Romney, Memoirs of the Life and Works of George Romney ... also some particulars of the life of Peter Romney, his Brother, 1830, pp 135-36)

Painting by J. S. Copley, The Death of Chatham.

Etching by J. Sayers, whole length (M. D. George, British Museum, Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires, V, 6069).

before 1787
Medallions by James Tassie. Tassie produced three closely-related medallions of Rockingham (J. M. Gray , James and William Tassie, a biographical and critical sketch with a catalogue of their portrait medallions of modern personages, 1894, nos.337-39), one wearing a coat with the Garter star and ribbon (examples Victoria and Albert Museum, 414.1318.1885; Scottish NPG, PG 301), another with a cloak, and a third, reduced in size, a simple bust showing only the coat collar (illus. J. M. Gray , James and William Tassie, a biographical and critical sketch with a catalogue of their portrait medallions of modern personages, 1894, pl.III). A Wedgwood medallion of c.1787 (illus. R. Reilly and G. Savage, Wedgwood the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 291) was taken from the first pattern.
Burke thought Tassie ‘in his Glass’ had made ‘the best likeness, I mean the best uncoloured likeness which exists [of Rockingham]’ (Burke Corr., V, p 343; 10 July 1787).
Unattributed medallions were with the Earl of Chichester c.1910 and at Sir William Turner's Hospital, Kirkleatham, before 1970 (NPG archive).

Cameo by Edward Burch, exhibited RA 1787 (263).

Marble statue by Joseph Nollekens, in peer’s robes with Garter collar. Wentworth Woodhouse mausoleum (illus. N. Penny, Church Monuments, 1977, pp 63-64; see Burke Corr., V, p 343). Erected by Lord Fitzwilliam, Rockingham’s nephew and heir. Burke recorded that no bust was made of Lord Rockingham during his lifetime, Nollekens’s head being ‘made from a masque taken from his face after his Death’.
Nollekens produced two patterns of bust using the head from the Wentworth Woodhouse statue and presumably predating it. The more common, with loose classical drapery showing the ribbon and star of the Garter, is represented at Althorp, Dalmeny, Muncaster Castle and Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (illus. M. Whinney, Sculpture in Britain 1530-1830, 1964, pl.123). Another, given to Lord Charlemont in 1788 for his Rockingham Library at Charlemont House, Dublin, belonged to his descendants in London in 1873 (Sir George Scharf's Sketch Books, 87/63) and letters from Lady Rockingham to Lord Charlemont described the production of this bust under Lady Rockingham’s direction (F. Hardy, Memoirs of Lord Charlemont, 1812, II, pp 227-31).
The second type of Nollekens bust, showing different curls on the wig and peer’s robes over a Garter ribbon, is represented in the Palace of Westminster (from Wentworth Woodhouse; illus. M. Bond, Works of Art in the House of Lords, 1980, p 104) and at Goodwood.

Engraving by W. Ridley, an unsatisfactory bust-length oval, reissued 1805.

Wax bust by Samuel Percy, probably posthumous (illus. Connoisseur, XCIV, 1934, p 105).

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.