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Sir Francis Baring, 1st Bt

2 of 5 portraits of 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
1823
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.

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