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Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, by William Hoare, circa 1742 -NPG 158 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

after William Hoare
circa 1742
36 1/4 in. x 27 1/4 in. (921 mm x 692 mm)
NPG 158

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed, bottom left, Lord Chesterfield.

This portraitback to top

On style NPG 158 is probably a fairly early copy, rather than a studio version, of a type represented by the oil at Chevening, [1] presumably from lot 18, 'Philip Earl of Chesterfield; and John Earl Grenville', bought by Viscount Mahon at the Stowe sale, Christie's, 12 September 1848. There is a similar pastel in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Chesterfield received the Garter in 1730 but the date for the type is inferred from the mezzotint by J. Simon, who is not known to have worked after 1742, the year inscribed on the version at Chevening. Numerous repetitions exist, including one still at Beningbrough. [2]
A standing whole length in peer's robes, but with the same head, was engraved by J. Brooks (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 10) when the sitter was lord lieutenant of Ireland, 1745-6. [3] Another of this type by Hoare, mentioned by Harding, [4] is at Trinity College, Cambridge. The dimensions of NPG 158 suggest that the standard portrait was enlarged to Kit-cat size.

Footnotesback to top

1) List of Paintings at Chevening, 1931, p 24 (52), as painted for Stowe, 1742.
2) An oil the same size as NPG 158; from the Chesterfield collection, probably once at Holme Lacey, apparently a copy, H. A. Tipping, English Homes Period IV, II, 1928, p 337.
3) A different whole length, seated to right, with Garter, is at Beningbrough, ascribed to Richardson but of the 1740s and conceivably from the Van Loo studio, H. A. Tipping, English Homes Period IV, II, 1928, pl.346.
4) G. P. Harding, List of Portraits ... in Various Mansions of the United Kingdom ... MS, c.1804, NPG archives, III, p 127.

Physical descriptionback to top

Dark blue eyes, bushy black eyebrows, fresh complexion, grey wig; plum-red velvet coat with ribbon and star of the Garter, white neck-cloth and white lace cuffs; green chair, dark green background.

Conservationback to top

Dark; bituminous craquelure in the background, slight losses along the edges; pin holes at the corners; surface cleaned twice and varnished, 1892 and 1895.

Provenanceback to top

Bought, 1863, from Colnaghi's who, according to G. Barker, [1] bought it from an old lady to whom twenty-two portraits including Bishop Burnet (NPG 159), Sir Richard Steele (NPG 160), Samuel Richardson (NPG 161) and Charles Churchill (NPG 162) had been given as security by the publisher Sir Richard Phillips (1767-1840).

1) A restorer employed by the Gallery; letter dated 28 March 1863, NPG archives.

Exhibitionsback to top

'Exhibition of Arts, Industries and Manufactures', Dublin, 1872 (139).

Reproductionsback to top

The type was mezzotinted by J. Simon (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 38). For later engravings, see F. O'Donoghue and Sir Henry M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits ... in the British Museum, 1908-25.


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.