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Horace Walpole

Horace Walpole, by George Dance, 1793 -NPG 1161 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Horace Walpole

by George Dance
1793
9 3/4 in. x 7 1/4 in. (248 mm x 184 mm)
NPG 1161

Inscriptionback to top

Signed and dated in pencil: July 13th. 1793, bottom left, and Geo. Dance, bottom right; laid down on a contemporary washed mount lettered: EARL OF ORFORD.

This portraitback to top

Farington and Dance visited Strawberry Hill on 13 July 1793, when Farington recorded that ‘in the forenoon Mr Dance made a drawing of [Walpole’s] profile an excellent resemblance. – Lord Orford is now in his 76th year, infirm in his body, but lively & attentive in mind'. On 29 April 1794 Farington wrote that Walpole was ‘much mortified’ to learn that Dance’s drawing was on public exhibition, ‘thinking it wd. appear at his time of life an instance of vanity’, but the report was false.
A version of NPG 1161, inscribed This is by George Dance from the collection of Miss M. Dance the great granddaughter, [1] is in the Lewis Walpole Library, Farmington. A copy of Daniell’s engraving by J. T. Smith was sold Sotheby’s, 11 February 1971, lot 197.

Footnotesback to top

1) Mary Sibyll Dance (d. 1948), see Dance, NPG 3626.

Referenceback to top

Adams & Lewis 1970
C. K. Adams & W. S. Lewis, 'The Portraits of Horace Walpole', Wal. Soc., XLII,

Provenanceback to top

The artist's grandson, the Rev George Dance; his sale, Christie's, 1 July 1898, lot 139, bought Colnaghi for the NPG.

Exhibitionsback to top

Garrick and his Contemporaries, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1969 (56); George Dance, Geffrye Museum, 1972 (97); Walpole and Strawberry Hill, Orleans House, Twickenham, 1980 (230); La revolution française et l'Europe, Paris, 1989 (232); John Joseph Merlin, Kenwood, 1985 (A12).

Reproductionsback to top

W. Daniell 1808 (A Collection of Portraits sketched from the Life since the Year 1973 by George Dance Esqr. R.A. and engraved in imitation of the Original Drawings by William Daniell, A.R.A., 2 vols, 1814).


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, 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.

View all known portraits for George Dance

View all known portraits for Horatio ('Horace') Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford