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Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat

1 of 8 portraits of Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat

Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat, by William Hogarth, after 1746, based on a work of 1746 -NPG 216 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat

after William Hogarth
after 1746, based on a work of 1746
25 3/4 in. x 16 1/4 in. (654 mm x 413 mm)
NPG 216

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed round the back of the stretcher: Simon Fraser Ld. Lovat/Executed on Tower Hill for/High Treason/1745. [1]

1) Date of execution, 9 April 1747.

This portraitback to top

Claimed as an original Hogarth, the portrait is crudely painted and demonstrably a copy. [1] A drawing in the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, possibly from Weardon Hall, a seat of the Farington family, [2] is said to have been acquired by Lovat's escort Major Gardner, whose wife was a Farington ancestor. [3] Although now cut to a silhouette and possibly damaged, it is surely autograph; [4] the style is very close to drawings such as 'The First Stage of Cruelty' and the portrait of John Wilkes. [5] As it has an unusual amount of cross-hatching, the Harris Museum drawing seems to have been finished up for the etching, lettered Drawn from the Life and Etch’d ... by Willm Hogarth, Publish’d ... August 25th 1746. In the etching the buttons are shown on the wrong side of the coat, and the gesture, said to show him counting the clans that fought for the Pretender, [6] is similarly reversed, the sitter counting with his left hand. NPG 216 also shows the buttons on the wrong side and the gesture as left-handed; it is thus presumably derived from the etching.
It seems unlikely that Hogarth had much opportunity for painting Lovat from life. According to Nichols, a drawing or drawings were taken at the White Hart Inn, St Albans, on 14 August 1746 when, at the invitation of Dr Webster, a local physician, Hogarth met Lovat who was on his way to London for his trial. Another version, mentioned by the Rev. W. Harris to Mrs Harris in a letter dated 28 August 1746, claims that Hogarth invited himself to the inn. [7]
The same head appears in a drawing in the British Museum possibly by J. Ireland. [8] A posthumous oil, the gesture left-handed, with the dealer Rodd in 1827, [9] repeats the satirical coat of arms – beheading block, two headmen's axes, triple gallows and a hangman's noose – shown in one of the later etchings after Hogarth. [10] A picture lent by Lord Lovat to the 'Historical Portraits Exhibition', Aberdeen, 1859 (93), described as 'Painted in the Tower previous to his execution', was apparently a version.

Footnotesback to top

1) A. P. Oppé, Drawings of William Hogarth, 1948 (37).
2) E. Baines, History of Lancashire, 1836, III, pp 446-47.
3) Notes and Queries, Fourth Series, II, 1868, p 191.
4) Seen, 1973, by E. Croft-Murray who confirms authorship.
5) A. P. Oppé, Drawings of William Hogarth, 1948, pls 68, 89.
6) J. Nichols and G. Steevens, The Genuine Works of William Hogarth, 1808-17, I, p 131.
7) J. Nichols, Biographical Anecdotes of William Hogarth, 1781, p 107; S. Ireland, Graphic Illustrations of Hogarth, 1794, pp 146-47; Letters of the First Earl of Malmesbury, 1870, I, p 45.
8) A. P. Oppé, Drawings of William Hogarth, 1948 (37), pp 38-39.
9) W. Hone, Every-Day and Table Book, 1827, I, p 238, with woodcut.
10) Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires, British Museum, 1870-1954, III, part I (2810).

Physical descriptionback to top

Broad face, left eyebrow higher than right, double chin, short grey wig; brown suit, coat buttoned to waist, the buttons on the wrong side, grey stockings, dark brown shoes; seated and counting on his fingers with his left hand; on the table, left, a pen, inkstand and open book inscribed MEMOIRS; brown background.

Conservationback to top

Discoloured varnish, small loss near top right; cleaned, lined and restored 1866.

Provenanceback to top

Bought, 1866, from Weaver's of Wardour Street, London.

Exhibitionsback to top

Second Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1867 (320).

Reproductionsback to top

Engraved by Hogarth, August 1746. [1]

1) Reproduced R. Paulson, Hogarth's Graphic Works, 1965 (166).

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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