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Unknown man, formerly known as Horace Walpole

Unknown man, formerly known as Horace Walpole, by Nathaniel Hone, circa 1765 -NPG 116 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Unknown man, formerly known as Horace Walpole

attributed to Nathaniel Hone
circa 1765
23 in. x 19 1/4 in. (584 mm x 489 mm)
NPG 116

This portraitback to top

Acquired as a portrait of Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, but the identification is untenable. W. S. Lewis suggested it might show Horatio Walpole (1723-1809) of Wolterton, later 1st Earl of Orford of the second creation, but comparison with two securely identified portraits by Henry Walton [1] is not conclusive.
NPG 116 appears to date from the later 1760s and the traditional attribution to Nathaniel Hone is probably correct; he had painted Lord Mountstuart, father of the first recorded owner. He has also been credited with a miniature once identified as the young Horace Walpole. [2]

Footnotesback to top

1) Wal. Soc., XLII, 1970, p 30. E. Bell, 'Life and Work of Henry Walton', Gainsborough's House Review, 1999, nos.144-45, fig.14.
2) Private collection; see Wal. Soc., XLII, 1970, p 32, C.16, as not of Horace Walpole.

Referenceback to top

Adams & Lewis 1970
C. K. Adams & W. S. Lewis, Wal. Soc., XLII, 1970, p 30, C.10 (as not of Horace Walpole).

Physical descriptionback to top

Grey eyes, very dark hair; wearing a grey-green coat and light green waistcoat which are sketched in.

Provenanceback to top

Lord Patrick James Herbert Crichton-Stuart (1794-1859); his son Lt. Col. James Frederick D. C. Stuart, from whom purchased, through T. R. Rutley, 1861.1

1 In a letter of 24 November 1860 (NPG archive), Rutley described the portrait as ‘the property of Colonel Stuart. The Picture is from the collection of the late Lord James Stuart of Whitehall Place, in whose family it has been for many years’. Col. Stuart was living at 6 Whitehall Place in 1860.


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 Nathaniel Hone

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