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Sir Francis Baring, 1st Bt

Sir Francis Baring, 1st Bt, by Charles Muss; Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1823 -NPG 1256 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Francis Baring, 1st Bt

by Charles Muss, after Sir Thomas Lawrence
12 1/4 in. x 9 1/4 in. (312 mm x 236 mm)
NPG 1256

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed in yellow, bottom centre: Portrait of Sir Francis Baring Bart. From a Painting by Sir Thos. Lawrence/Painted in Enamel by Chas Muss 1823.

This portraitback to top

Copied from the left-hand figure in Lawrence’s celebrated portrait of the senior partners of Baring Brothers, in which Sir Francis sits with his brother, John Baring, and son-in-law, Charles Wall. [1] His attitude was variously explained: Beechey thought he was turning away from Wall who was announcing a deficit, and Sir George Beaumont that he was being distracted by the sound of thunder. [2] But it was perhaps the attitude of a partially deaf man, for his obituarist stated that the ‘one obstruction [he] had to contend with from his earliest days [was] an incurable deafness’. [3]
There is a half-length version of the single figure in a private collection, [4] together with a related drawing attributed to Lawrence, showing his right hand resting in his lap. Muss also made enamel copies of several paintings from Baring’s collection. [5]

Footnotesback to top

1) Private collection; K. Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence: a complete catalogue of the oil paintings, 1989, no.62; exhibited RA 1807 (210); engraved J. Ward 1807-09 for private circulation (the sons not wishing their father to be seen with a ledger before him). A pendant to Reynolds’s 1787-88 group portrait of Baring’s political friends, Lord Landsdowne, Lord Ashburton and Colonel Barré.
2) Joseph Farington, Diary, 8 May 1807.
3) Gentleman's Magazine, LXXX, 1810, II, p 293.
4) Exhibited Hampshire Houses, Winchester, 1938 (1).
5) Exhibited RA 1817 and 1819.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue eyes, own white hair, wearing black; he sits in a red-upholstered chair, a green curtain to the right; in his right hand a paper inscribed Hope & Co; on the table a paper inscribed Hope 1807.1

1 Hope, the powerful Dutch merchant firm based in Amsterdam, with whom Baring worked closely.

Provenanceback to top

By descent to the sitter’s great-grandson, the 1st Earl of Northbrook, by whom presented 1900.

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.

View all known portraits for Sir Francis Baring, 1st Bt

View all known portraits for Sir Thomas Lawrence


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