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Unknown woman, formerly known as Louisa, Countess of Albany

Unknown woman, formerly known as Louisa, Countess of Albany, by Hugh Douglas Hamilton, circa 1785 -NPG 377 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Unknown woman, formerly known as Louisa, Countess of Albany

attributed to Hugh Douglas Hamilton
circa 1785
9 1/2 in. x 8 1/2 in. (241 mm x 216 mm)
NPG 377

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed on a label in the same hand as on NPG 376, removed to the picture dossier in 1873, reads: Duqueza d'Alban[i]l Pompeo Batoni Pinxet. DO/Espolio de S.M.J. a Snra. D. Carlota/Joaquina.

This portraitback to top

Although it entered the collection with Prince Charles (NPG 376, Charles, Prince) and Cardinal York (NPG 378, York, Cardinal) and remains associated with these two portraits, both rightly named, the identification of NPG 377 should be treated with caution. The label, which has proved incorrect as to attribution, remains the principal source but no other versions of the type are known and the features of the lady are not easily reconciled with authentic portraits of Louisa. The hair style and costume are of this date but the sitter looks distinctly old for c.1785.

Physical descriptionback to top

Pale grey eyes, pale pink complexion, own grey hair dressed sideways with ringlet hanging to each shoulder; small white cap, pale blue dress with lace fichu; grey background of flattened oval shape on a rectangular canvas primed with ochre.

Conservationback to top

Restored 1889; discoloured retouchings in the hair over left temple; some shrinkage (due to relining?) below right eye; slight losses in background; pin holes at corners.

Provenanceback to top

Purchased, 1873, with NPG 376 and NPG 378 from R. Butterworth, a dealer; all were stated to have come from Monsieur Husson da Camera, formerly Minister of Portugal in Rome, then living (c.1873) at S. Benedetto, near Ancona; Stuart portraits, according to the vendor, formed part of the inheritance which fell to the Queen of Portugal as heiress of her father Charles IV of Spain (1748-1819). [1]

1) Butterworth letters, June-July 1873, 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.

View all known portraits for Louisa, Countess of Albany

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