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Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford

Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, based on a work of  1714 -NPG 16 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford

after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
based on a work of 1714
49 in. x 39 in. (1245 mm x 991 mm) overall
NPG 16

This portraitback to top

A reduced version of the Kneller whole-length, see NPG 4011, with minor differences (in the position of the staff, folds of the robe, etc.), as engraved by G. Vertue in 1753 (with lines from Pope’s Epistle to the Earl of Oxford published in 1722: ‘A Soul supreme, in each hard instance tried …’). [1] Other three-quarter-length versions include those in the British Museum; [2] sold Sotheby’s, 30 January 1985, lot 47, and those formerly at Patshull and Compton Verney. [3] A close variant sold Phillips, 4 July 1977, lot 98. Half-lengths recorded at Stoke Edith in 1910 and at Hinton St George (sold Sotheby’s, 19 February 1969, lot 13). A much-reduced oval half-length was sold Christie’s South Kensington, 6 September 1988, lot 46A, and a bust-length variant at Sotheby’s, Pulborough, 1-4 March 1983, lot 1218.
Versions of a bust-length variant, holding a staff but wearing a plain dark coat, include those sold Christie’s, 14 December 1983, lot 74, and another in a private collection.

Footnotesback to top

1) D. Alexander, ‘George Vertue as an Engraver’, Wal. Soc., LXX, 2008, no.974.
2) Presented by the dowager Duchess of Portland 1768; exhibited Second Special Exhibition of National Portraits ( ... William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington, 1867, no.98; engr. W. T. Mote 1836.
3) As listed in R. W. Goulding, Catalogue of Pictures belonging to … the Duke of Portland …, C. K. Adams ed., 1936, p 371.

Referenceback to top

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, pp 263-264.

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

Provenanceback to top

The Hon Miss Harley [Lady Frances Harley], Harley St., London; [1] Henry Smart, London, from whom purchased 1857.

1) As stated by Henry Smart to Scharf (undated letter on file). Lady Frances was the sister of the 6th and last Earl of Oxford (see also under Newton).

Exhibitionsback to top

Cabinet Office, 1971–.

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.

View all known portraits for Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford

View all known portraits for Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt


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