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Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford

Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, 1714 -NPG 4011 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford

by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
1714
96 in. x 58 1/2 in. (2438 mm x 1486 mm)
NPG 4011

Inscriptionback to top

Signed on the right above table: G Kneller/fct 1714.

This portraitback to top

Wearing Garter robes and holding the lord treasurer’s wand. A fine version of a composition several times repeated in reduced format, see NPG 16. Oliver Millar observed that a signed three-quarter version at Brampton Bryan ‘should be the original’ [1] and the existence of a bust-length oval mezzotint dated 1713 [2] suggests that NPG 4011, dated 1714, may be a replica.

Footnotesback to top

1) Letter of 7 March 1979 on file.
2) By J. Simon (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 116). A comparable mezzotint by J. Smith (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 197) is dated 1714. An anon. oval painting on copper, sold Christie’s, 29 November 1977, lot 4, was copied from one of these plates.

Referenceback to top

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 263.

Stewart 1983
J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.557.

Provenanceback to top

[presumably by descent with the Barons Foley]1 Ruxley Lodge;2 Lady Foley sale, Sotheby’s, 6 February 1957, lot 23, bought Leggatt for the NPG.

1 The sitter married 1) Elizabeth Foley (d. 1691), sister of 1st. Baron Foley; on the death of the 2nd Baron in 1766 the estates passed to his cousin Thomas Foley, 1st Baron Foley of the second creation.
2 Where noted in 1910 in the collection of Lord Foley (R. W. Goulding, Catalogue of Pictures belonging to … the Duke of Portland …, C. K. Adams ed., 1936, p 371).


This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, 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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