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Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd Earl Temple

Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd Earl Temple, by William Hoare, circa 1757-1760 -NPG 258 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd Earl Temple

by William Hoare
circa 1757-1760
49 1/2 in. x 39 1/2 in. (1257 mm x 1003 mm)
NPG 258

This portraitback to top

An unsophisticated portrait, in which the hands and purse are particularly slipshod. The inscribed date of 1760 is slightly misleading. The first state of Houston’s undated engraving omitted the Garter regalia and the purse (thereby revealing more of the architectural plan), the letterpress describing Temple as lord privy seal; the second state introduced the Garter regalia, while still omitting the purse; the title omitted lord privy seal (an office he resigned in 1761), substituting the lord lieutenancy of Buckingham, an office he held 1758-63. Watson’s undated print copied this second state, but omitted the Garter round the knee, the letterpress describing Temple as lord privy seal. These variations indicate Hoare’s original portrait was completed after June 1757 when Temple became privy seal and before February 1760 when he became a Knight of the Garter; the Garter regalia was then added. The Garter ribbon seen in NPG 258 hangs differently from that seen in the Houston and Watson prints. An identical version belonging to the Trustees of the Chevening Estate [1] clearly shows the Garter ribbon painted over the coat and may therefore be the original, in which case NPG 258 is a replica, presumably of 1760, as inscribed.

Footnotesback to top

1) Having descended by the marriage of the sitter’s niece to the 3rd Earl Stanhope. Seen by Scharf at Chevening in 1862 (Sir George Scharf's Sketch Books, 65/112 -blue-grey eyes); illus. Apollo, XCVII, 1973, p 588; exhibited Manners and Morals, Tate, 1987 (219).

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue eyes, white powdered wig, his hair tied with a blue ribbon, wearing a dove-grey velvet suit, with the blue ribbon of the Garter; seated on a red chair; with his left hand he points to an architectural plan1 on a table, with behind it, the purse of the lord privy seal; inscribed upper left: RICHARD EARL/TEMPLE./1760; a purple curtain to the right.

1 Possibly the Grecian Temple at Stowe (begun c.1748 and probably designed by Richard Grenville himself; completed by G. B. Borra in 1762), see Apollo, XCVII, 1973, p 571. Watson’s print shows more of the plan than NPG 258.

Provenanceback to top

By descent to the sitter’s great-grandnephew, the 3rd Marquess of Buckingham; Stowe sale, Christie’s, 21st day, 12 September 1848, lot 84, bought S. M. Peto; E. L. Betts, Preston Hall, Kent; Christie’s, 30 May 1868, lot 20 (‘from Stowe’), purchased.

Exhibitionsback to top

Crown Estates Office 1986-.

Reproductionsback to top

J. Watson; R. Houston and a second reduced plate; reduced ovals by C. Townley 1757; C. Watson 1806; A. Walker; anon. (Universal Mag.).


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.

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