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Granville George Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Granville George Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville

by George Richmond
chalk, 1876
22 7/8 in. x 18 3/8 in. (581 mm x 467 mm)
Purchased, 1972
Primary Collection
NPG 4900

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • George Richmond (1809-1896), Portrait painter and draughtsman; son of Thomas Richmond. Artist associated with 325 portraits, Sitter in 14 portraits.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 260
  • Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 175 Read entry

    Gilt pine, mitred and pinned, the surface detail worked in the gesso, water gilt (the leaf overlaps can be seen especially on the bottom side of the flame), mostly matt gilding on a red bole but the C-scrolls at the corners and the borders to the side panels burnished on a black bole. 3 1⁄ 4 inches wide with original stepped slip. Inscribed on the back in pencil: 35020, and with the label: J.H. CHANCE,/CARVER, GILDER AND/PRINT SELLER,/28, London Street,/FITZROY SQUARE,/Pictures cleaned & Restored./DRAWINGS MOUNTED/And COPIED IN PHOTOGRAPHY.

    George Richmond was as well known in his day for his large portrait drawings in chalk, with their distinctive frames, as for his oil paintings. The frame on this portrait of the Liberal statesman, Lord Granville, is of the type Richmond used from the mid-1840s until he ceased making drawings of this kind in the late 1870s. The National Portrait Gallery has fifteen Richmonds in these frames. The scroll and leaf details and the cross-hatched corners are worked in the gesso, rather like some Italian seventeenth-century frames, the scrolls here being water gilt and, burnished for effect in contrast to the matt water gilding of the ground.

    Richmond's frames were usually made by his friend, James Henry Chance, whose label can often be found on his work.1 This frame type was also occasionally used for the drawings of Alessandro Ossani and Lowes Cato Dickinson, both artists for whom Chance made frames.2 It is also found in an undecorated version with the same ogee profile on some of the Richmonds bought by the National Portrait Gallery after Richmond's death and framed by Chance.

    1 A few of Richmond's drawings were framed by Joseph Hogarth including his John Bird Sumner, c.1849 (NPG 2467), which has a frame with more elaborately incised corners than those made by Chance.

    2 For example, Frances Bodenham by Ossani, 1890 (NPG 5586A), and Jane Forster by Dickinson (private collection, photograph in NPG Archive).

Subject/Themeback to top

Events of 1876back to top

Current affairs

Following the introduction of the Royal Titles Act, Queen Victoria is proclaimed Empress of India, with Disraeli deliberately flattering Victoria's imperialist ambitions. In turn, Victoria creates Disraeli Earl of Beaconsfield; he continues to run government from the Lords.

Art and science

The classical-subject painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema, famous for his elegant depictions of the Roman Empire, paints An Audience at Agrippa's.
US inventor Alexander Graham Bell invents and patents the telephone following research into vocal physiology and speech instruction for the deaf, after discovering that sound could be transmitted and reconverted through an electric wire by using a continuous electric current.

International

15,000 Bulgarian Christians are slaughtered by Turkish troops in retaliation for the killing of 300 Turks in Batak at the start of the Bulgarian uprising. The Turkish government practices further repression by compulsorily transferring people of other ethnicities to Bulgaria to make the Bulgarians a minority. Gladstone published a pamphlet The Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East attacking Turkish actions, selling 200,000 copies in a month.

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