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William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland

1 of 6 portraits by David Morier

William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, by David Morier, 1749-1770, based on a work of circa 1748-1749 -NPG 537 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland

studio of David Morier
1749-1770, based on a work of circa 1748-1749
29 1/2 in. x 24 in. (749 mm x 610 mm)
NPG 537

This portraitback to top

NPG 537 is a version of a whole length in the Royal Collection (Sir Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1969, 951) which, however, has no dog but shows, in the background, a detachment of foot guards drawn up on the parade ground. A similar version, at Welbeck by 1812, [1] is signed at the top DM. Another is at Anglesey Abbey. None of the three is dated but the type appears to represent Cumberland during his command in the Low Countries, 1747-9, and the original may have been painted when Morier was in Germany, 1748-9. [2] The oeuvre of this Swiss artist who worked under Cumberland's patronage soon after his arrival in England from Berne c.1743, requires further clarification. The various portraits at Windsor attributed to him, and other works depicting regiments which took part in the war of the Austrian succession, do not all seem to be by the same hand. Millar points out that the early works which were engraved may possibly form a group. [3]

Footnotesback to top

1) 1812 Catalogue; R. W. Goulding and C. K. Adams, Catalogue of the Pictures Belonging to His Grace the Duke of Portland, 1936 (180).
2) Haswell Miller and N. P. Dawnay, Military Drawings and Paintings in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, 1966, I, p 8, and note 6; also p 12.
3) In a letter, January 1970.

Physical descriptionback to top

Dark brown wig, heavy face, brown complexion; scarlet uniform jacket with dark blue facings and cuffs, gold lace, Garter ribbon, cuirass with gold engraving beneath coat, medallion of the Bath suspended from the neck by a red ribbon, white breeches, black boots; a looped green curtain rests on a table, left; a white dog, somewhat emaciated, lies in the foreground right, a balustrade and camp with guards behind; lit from left.

Conservationback to top

Discoloured varnish; an old damage in the sky above the encampment; a long semi-circular scratch around his left shoulder runs back into the nose; surface cleaned and varnished 1879; repaired 1889.

Provenanceback to top

Transferred 1879, with Queen Caroline (NPG 529), to the NPG from the British Museum, to whom given by Lt-Gen. Thornton (see Queen Caroline, NPG 529, Provenance).

Reproductionsback to top

Engraved by J. Faber junior, 1753, in reverse, head and shoulders only (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 105), in armour.


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.

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