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Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine

Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine, by Sir William Charles Ross, 1823 -NPG 960 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine

by Sir William Charles Ross
29 5/8 in. x 24 3/4 in. (752 mm x 629 mm)
NPG 960

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed lower left in yellow paint: Unfinished/Portrait./1823.

This portraitback to top

The portrait was originally offered in 1893 by Ridgway's elder brother W. H. Ridgway together with a portrait of Francis Horner which was declined. According to letters from both Ridgways in the NPG archive they had formed part of an exchange with Lord Brougham. The Erskine portrait had been painted for Lord Erskine himself and given to the Ridgways' grandfather in whose son's dining-room the brothers remembered it hanging all their lives. A replica was made and given to Lord Brougham in exchange for the Horner portrait. A similar portrait of Erskine, attributed to Beechey, inscribed Painted for Thomas Coutts 1817 and sold Christie's 3 May 1946 (118), was possibly the original model from which Ross painted the NPG version. Certainly the portrait has none of the attributes of a miniaturist, being crude and ill-painted, and therefore the Ross in question, stated to be Sir William Ross by the Ridgways, is more likely to be his father, the William Ross son of the Duke of Marlborough's gardener, who exhibited RA 1809-25.

Physical descriptionback to top

Head and shoulders in dark green coat, light green waistcoat, white wing collar and neckcloth, Star of Thistle; reddish-brown wig, grey eyebrows, grey eyes, stout florid complexion; dark red background.

Provenanceback to top

Sold to the NPG in 1894 by James Ridgway whose grandfather had been given the portrait by Erskine himself 'in about 1822'.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, 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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