Prince James Francis Edward Stuart
- Extended catalogue entry
Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue
Prince James Francis Edward Stuart
by or after Francesco Ponzone
8 3/8 in. x 6 1/2 in. (214 mm x 164 mm) paper size; 8 in. x 6 in. (204 mm x 152 mm) image size
Inscriptionback to top
On the back of the frame a stencil: 145 PS and another ending in W concealed by the title-page of the Hamilton sale catalogue on which is a written label with Gray's account of the sitter (see Biography).
This portraitback to top
NPG 4535 is a variant version of an unpublished drawing of 1741 by the virtually unknown Milanese artist Francesco Ponzone. Now at Windsor, the portrait is inscribed [-]e o Francesco Ponzone Milanese Fece in Roma 1741 Genaro. It may well be ‘the drawing of ye King done with ye pen, extremely well done and a very good likeness' mentioned in letters dated 15 June and 4 July 1741.  An engraving, in reverse (F. O'Donoghue and Sir Henry M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits ... in the British Museum, 1908-25, 36), showing the Garter and lettered Quærit Patria Cæsarem, was published 1747 without artist's or engraver's name. On the impression in the British Museum is written in ink: 'After a drawing from life in the possession of Dr. Irwin at Rome. See Bolingbroke's letter to Sir W. Windham'.  Mrs Mockler owns a very similar drawing showing less of the shoulders and lettered Cognoscit me Meus. A rather similar drawing of the Young Pretender, in red chalk, in the British Museum, is by Giles Hussey. This would seem to raise certain doubts as to the authorship of NPG 4535 but Ponzone is the more probable. The Windsor drawing is the only work known for comparison. The type is worth comparing with the profile oil by Blanchet from the Hay collection (see All Known Portraits).
Footnotesback to top
1) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, relating to portraits, compiled by the Hon. Miss Stuart-Wortley, III, p 28.
2) 1st Viscount Bolingbroke, A Letter to Sir William Windham, 1717, p 268.
Physical descriptionback to top
Profile; forehead slightly receding, high beaked nose, heavy chin, wig, tightly curled, with knotted end falling in front of his left shoulder; a sash (Garter?) over his unbuttoned coat.
Conservationback to top
An abrasion and discolouration about 3 inches long behind the shoulder; a small hole, bottom centre of wig.
Provenanceback to top
Bought 1967, from Mrs Gordon Lett; formerly Duke of Hamilton's collection, sold Christie's, 7 November 1919, presumably the third item, lot 99, ‘The Old Pretender - pen and ink' (no artist given), bought Sir George Buckstone Browne; thence by descent through his son-in-law, the late Sir Hugh Lett, Bart, to Mrs Gordon Lett.
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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