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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Henry Benedict Maria Clement Stuart, Cardinal York (1725-1807), Son of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart

Before his election as Cardinal, 3 July 1747 [1]

Medals of Henry Stuart and of his brother were struck in 1729 by Otto Hamerani. [2]

An early profile by Giles Hussey may represent him or his elder brother Charles. [3] Payments to David for portraits of 'the Duke' are identifiable from 1726 in the Stuart Papers; some of them are for miniatures (whether by or simply supplied by him is unresolved). His prices seem to have been thought too high. The earliest surviving type seems to be that by David, 1732, NPG 435, which was widely circulated. Liotard was paid 54 zecchini for three pastels of the King, the Prince and the Duke (i.e. Henry) and a miniature of the Prince in December 1737; none of these is now known. There are also payments for a miniature and an enamel in 1738. [4] A fine three-quarter length by Blanchet signed and dated 1738 in the Royal collection was formerly in the Hay collection, Duns Castle, Christie's, 25 March 1966, lot 82. A related whole length has come down to Mrs Colin Davy [Editor's note, 2014: now National Portrait Gallery]. [5]

Certain youthful types of Henry and Charles appear to be confused. A head and shoulders at Ingatestone inscribed Henry Benedict/Stewart/Cardinal/of York in which the sitter wears armour and the medallion of the Thistle, resembles closely the David of Charles, Scottish NPG 887. The companion portrait at Ingatestone, [6] inscribed Prince Charles Edward/eldest son of the/Chevalier St. George, with the sitter wearing the Garter, is very close to the David of Henry, Scottish NPG 888. Further, there are two other versions of the Ingatestone type of Henry. One, nearly identical, is called Charles and is at Hawthornden. [7] The second, at Dolben in the Williams-Wynn collection from Wynnstay, is also known as Charles; the sitter has the same head but his body faces the spectator. [8]

Two other portraits in armour are of approximately this date, foreshadowing no doubt the '45, in which Henry may have got as far as Dunkirk to encourage the troops. These are a type by Duprà of 1740 [9] of which there is a head and shoulders version at Keir, [10] and a three-quarter length engraving by Daullé, (F. O'Donoghue and Sir Henry M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits ... in the British Museum, 1908-25, 3) [11] reversed by J. G. Wille (F. O'Donoghue and Sir Henry M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits ... in the British Museum, 1908-25, 4). The second is a half length in the Alba collection (74), [12] as by J. F. Parrocel, c.1742.

There were further sittings to Duprà in 1744 for a portrait of which Batoni made a miniature copy to send to Charles in Paris. In this Henry holds a miniature of Charles in his hand. He wrote to Charles 4 July 1744, 'I have sitt no less than four Owre for my Picture', and on the 17th, 'I believe dear Brother you will be pleased with my picture for the Originall [the Duprà] from whence it is to be copied tho' it be not quite finished yet is as like as two droppes of water. I have sitt allready for it about 14 Ours, but really with pleasure, it being for you'. [13] Henry was dissatisfied with the copy however and another had to be commissioned.

After his election as Cardinal, 1747

The following provisional grouping of the various types is suggested. Two differing three-quarter face types appear early in the Cardinalate. The first shows the head three-quarters to the left. Such is the whole length by Blanchet signed and dated 1748, from the Hamilton Palace sale, Christie's, 8 July 1882, lot 1116, now in the Darnaway Castle collection. Similar heads occur in an anonymous head and shoulders, Sotheby's, 2 February 1955, lot 146, as by Batoni; a cruder version, Christie's, 20 November 1964, lot 66, as by Ramsay (linking the type with the Batoniesque NPG 129); and possibly the rather primitive whole length at Frascati.

The second is another three-quarter face type associated with the hand of Domenico Corvi, c.1748, after whom a three-quarter length version was engraved by Campana. A portrait in the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Connecticut, as by Sebastiano Ceccarini, follows this design. [14] A head and shoulders in the Hamilton Palace sale, Christie's, 1 July 1882, lot 699, is now in the Darnaway Castle collection, and other examples are in the Scottish NPG (624) and Blairs college ('Historical Portraits', Aberdeen, 1859 (60)). A whole length which seems to relate to this type is in the Royal collection (652). A miniature by Veronica Telli, née Stern, 1748, was at Christie's, 21 November 1967, lot 22. Another, with the sitter facing in the opposite direction at Traquair House, collection P. Maxwell Stuart, perhaps also relates to this type and to the engraving by Pazzi mentioned in connection with NPG 129.

After the Batoni type, NPG 129, there appears to be no sitting until c.1786 when the H. D. Hamilton, NPG 378, was probably drawn from the life in Rome.

Finally, a third group of oils include the crown, and are likely to have been painted when he succeeded as titular claimant to the English throne on the death of his brother the Young Pretender in 1788. This type is a half length to the left with mitre and crown on a table, left. Known examples are with the Duke of Hamilton, as Batoni; the Countess of Seafield, Cullen House; and in the Alba Collection (75). These suggest a follower rather than the hand of Batoni himself, though they may be based on a Batoni design. The face-mask of the Duke of Hamilton's picture is near the Corvi type. The medal by Hamerani, NPG 2784, also dates from this period.

1) He may have been painted as Bishop of Ostia; the precise date of his consecration remains uncertain, but is believed to have been not much before this, cp Dictionary of National Biography, IX, p 561.
2) British Museum, Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland, compiled F. Hawkins and others, II, pp 492-93; L. Forrer, Biographical Dictionary of English Medallists, 1904-30, II, p 408.
3) He is identified in the version in Mrs Mockler's collection by an inscription written in 1883, and that at Blair (Duke of Atholl), represented in the illustrated guide (Pilgrim Press, c.1959), pl.ii, is definitely identified as Charles. For location of further copies of this drawing, see: Prince Charles, All Known Portraits.
4) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, relating to portraits, compiled by the Hon. Miss Stuart-Wortley, II, pp 20-21.
5) Second Exhibition of National Portraits, 1867 (307), lent by the Earl of Orford, who also had the Blanchet of Charles, now in the collection of Mrs Colin Davy, according to the catalogue of its last exhibition, RA, 'Italian Art and Britain', London, 1960 (138). For payments, see Stuart Papers, White Account Book, 1738; Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, relating to portraits, compiled by the Hon. Miss Stuart-Wortley, II, p 21.
6) The Ingatestone pictures, at Thorndon in the 19th century, were slightly damaged in a fire: Petre inventory of Thorndon, March 1878, Large Dining Room, (84), (86). The inscriptions may have been added at a later restoration.
7) Reproduced The Weekly Scotsman, 7 January 1933.
8) J. Steegman, A Survey of Portraits in Welsh Houses, 1957-62, I (18, 19).
9) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, relating to portraits, compiled by the Hon. Miss Stuart-Wortley, II, 1.
10) Reproduced A. & H. Taylor, The Stuart Papers at Windsor, 1939, p 108.
11) Scottish NPG, Watson Bequest; the Daullé engraving was apparently carried out mainly by Wille, cp Memoirs et Journal de J.G. Wille, ed. de Goncourt, 1857, I, p 93; cited Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, relating to portraits, compiled by the Hon. Miss Stuart-Wortley, II, pp 32-33.
12) Bequeathed by Cardinal York to the Duke of Berwick (Alba) along with the companion portrait of Charles (73) painted in Rome, 1742: Angel M. de Barcia, Catalogo de la Colección de Pinturas del ... Duque de Berwick y de Alba, 1911. There is also an anonymous Italian portrait of Henry as Cardinal in the collection (75).
13) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, relating to portraits, compiled by the Hon. Miss Stuart-Wortley, III, pp 2, 4, 6-7.
14) Christie's, 29 June 1934, lot 50 (as by Batoni).


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.