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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

George Sackville Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville (1716-1785), Soldier and statesman

A three-quarter length type by Reynolds to whom Sackville sat in January 1759 [1] shows him in fur-lined uniform coat over cuirass with the head of a horse, right. An entry in the artist's ledger under first payment reads: 'Paid for February 7, 1761, Mr Bale for Lord George Sackville £21' and on the same date, under ‘R’: ‘Mr. Ross for Lord G. Sackville 42-0'. Another entry under 'S’, also 7 February and probably a duplicate, records: 'Lord George Sackville for Mr Ross 42-0'. [2] The engraving in the first two states by McArdell was published in 1759 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 161) and the third, as Lord George Germaine with a pillar instead of the horse's head, in 1777. [3] Two oils, 50 x 40 in., were still in the family in 1937 probably by descent from the sitter to his granddaughter Caroline Harriet who married, 1837, William Bruce Stopford of Drayton. The Stopfords assumed the additional name of Sackville in 1870. The better preserved of the two portraits was sold at Christie's, 18 June 1937, lot 121, as from Ardfert Abbey, co. Kerry, the old home of the Countess of Glandore, daughter of Caroline Harriet and William Bruce Stopford; the other, lent by W. B. Stopford to the Second Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1867 (642), and by Captain N. V. Stopford Sackville to the 'Sir Joshua Reynolds' exhibition, Park Lane, 1937 (35), is still at Drayton Manor. 'Lord Geo Germain with horse 3/4 to r. left to a niece, with breast plate by Reynolds. large', then owned by Mrs Croker, was noted by Scharf at Kensington Palace. [4]
In 1778, there were sittings to Romney on 9, 15, 22 and 29 October and 5, 12 November [5] for the three-quarter length at Drayton in which Sackville stands at a table resting his hand on a paper with a castellated building (Drayton?) seen through the open window. The inkstand on the table and the artist's receipt of 1780 [6] are still there. The engraving of 1780 by Johann Jacobe (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 3) as Lord George Germaine has To the King inscribed on the paper. A medallion catalogued by Rasp 'CORNELIAN. Mr. Tassie. A bust of Lord Sackville, formerly Lord George Germaine. Engraved by Brown after a model by J. Tassie' [7] refers presumably to the sulphur impression by W. Brown (1748-1825) exhibited at the RA, 1780 (238). The well-known portrait by Gainsborough at Knole is probably of c.1783-85. [8] Stated to have been purchased by the sitter's nephew John Frederick, 3rd Duke of Dorset (d. 1799), [9] who succeeded to the title in 1769 from his uncle Charles Sackville, it passed after the death of his unmarried grandson Charles Sackville-Germain (1767-1843), 5th and last Duke of Dorset, to the Countess De La Warr and to the Barons Sackville, created 1876. [10] A caricature by J. Sayers, lettered in the form of an invitation Head Quarters Brookes's 18th July 1785/You are to attack the Enemy's Propositions at six o'Clock, [11] appears to be the basis of the profile head engraved for the European Magazine that year. A whole length was listed, 1828, in the dressing-room at Milton Abbas, Dorset, seat of the sitter's niece Lady Caroline Damer, wife of Mr Baron Grant, of Scotland. [12] The estate passed to the children of the 1st Earl of Portarlington. A portrait of the sitter is included in the 'Death of Chatham' (q.v.) by Copley.

False Portraits
A pair, 30 x 25 in., attributed to Reynolds and engraved, 1820, by S. W. Reynolds, the man lettered Lord Cornwallis, have been called Lord George Sackville and his wife; the former is also stated to have been at Christie's, 19 May 1899, lot 94, bought Leggatt's. [13] The pair reappeared in the Cosmo Bevan sale, 10 November 1938, lots 179 and 180. Waterhouse suggests they may represent Sackville's ADC Captain Smith and his wife; the captain sat to Reynolds in 1758. [14] Another portrait by Reynolds, 30 x 25 in., with Leggatt's in 1914, also as Sackville, [15] is apparently the same as one sold in New York (American Art Association), 16 November 1933, collection of Sir Albert James Bennett, Bart, and again Parke-Bernet, 25 February 1943.

1) C. R. Leslie and T. Taylor, Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1865, p 176.
2) A. Graves and W. V. Cronin, A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1899-1901, pp 857-58; M. Cormack, 'The Ledgers of Sir Joshua Reynolds', Walpole Society, XLII, 1970, pp 133, 135.
3) G. Goodwin, James McArdell, 1903, p 63.
4) Sir George Scharf's Sketchbooks, XXVII, p 47 (30 November 1880).
5) H. Ward and W. Roberts, Romney, 1904, II, p 59.
6) C. J. Phillips, History of the Sackville Family, II, p 138.
7) R. E. Rasp, A Descriptive Catalogue of ... [casts] ... by James Tassie, 1791, II (14404).
8) Sir Ellis K. Waterhouse, Gainsborough, 1958 (592); exhibited British Institution, 1815 (4), and 1859 (96); also Second Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1867 (658). See also G. F. Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain, 1854-57, IV, p 338.
9) C. J. Phillips, History of the Sackville Family, II, p 420.
10) Cf G. E. Cockayne, The Complete Peerage, revised by V. Gibbs (and others), 1910-59, IV, p 430; Burke, Peerage, 1967, pp 2185-86.
11) George, VI (6802); in failing health Sackville created a sensation when he returned from retirement to the House of Lords to oppose certain 'propositions' from the Irish parliament.
12) G. E. Cockayne, The Complete Peerage, revised by V. Gibbs (and others), 1910-59, IV, p 408, note b, where she is stated to have died 1829, unmarried; J. P. Neale, Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen etc, X, states that Milton Abbas was purchased by Joseph Damer, a native of Ireland, afterwards Earl of Dorchester (d. 1798), who married, 1742, Lady Caroline Sackville, sister of the sitter; the estate passed to their daughter, wife of Mr Baron Grant.
13) A. Graves and W. V. Cronin, A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1899-1901, p 858.
14) Sir Ellis K. Waterhouse, Reynolds (English Master Painters), 1941, p 46.
15) Photo in NPG archives.


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.