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Henry Benedict Maria Clement Stuart, Cardinal York

Henry Benedict Maria Clement Stuart, Cardinal York, by Antonio David, circa 1732, based on a work of 1732 -NPG 435 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Henry Benedict Maria Clement Stuart, Cardinal York

studio of Antonio David
circa 1732, based on a work of 1732
26 in. x 19 3/4 in. (660 mm x 501 mm)
NPG 435

This portraitback to top

Formerly given to Largillière, NPG 435 is a studio quality version of a popular portrait of which numerous versions and copies exist. Signed and dated examples are in the Scottish NPG (888), [1] and in the Borghese-Aldobrandini family, both signed Ant. David pi Anno 1732. In addition, there are versions in the collection of Sir W. Williams-Wynn, and in the possession of Comte Guy de Villefranche, who states that the portrait was given by the sitter's father c.1732 to the Marquis de Villefranche. There is another at Lochinch Castle (Earl of Stair), and one described as after Largillière was at Sotheby's, 28 July 1967, lot 181.
For further discussion of artist and date, see Prince Charles (NPG 434). Briefly, there is a payment in 1729 'p. il Duca'. [2] James' letter to Lewis Innes of 8 November 1729 - 'You will probably have seen my son's [sic] pictures wh I sent to Mr. O'Bryen, they are very like, but look a little older than the life' - is connected by Miss Stuart-Wortley with the pair by David of Charles and Henry. [3]

Footnotesback to top

1) W. Pollard-Urquhart, then Monastery of Fort Augustus, thence (1918) to the Scottish NPG.
2) RA Stuart Papers, White Account Book marked ‘1726-1729. M. 35'; Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, relating to portraits, compiled by the Hon. Miss Stuart-Wortley, I, p 29.
3) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, relating to portraits, compiled by the Hon. Miss Stuart-Wortley, I, p 33.

Physical descriptionback to top

Dark brown eyes, light brown eyebrows, light grey wig falling nearly to the waist, young plump face; white neck-band, pale blue coat with silver lace and pale pink cuffs; Garter star and ribbon; light grey background, dark brown spandrels, lit from the left.

Conservationback to top

Rubbed, discoloured varnish; damages in background at collar level; polished 1876.

Provenanceback to top

Bought, 1876, from Alexander Fletcher with NPG 433, James Frances Edward Stuart, the 'Old Pretender', and NPG 434, Charles Edward Stuart, the ‘Young Pretender'. All were attributed to Mengs, as was a portrait of Maria Clementina Sobieska, also offered by Mr Fletcher, in addition to a portrait of Cardinal York, attributed to Rosalba. He stated that he purchased four of them at the sale of York's secretary, Count Malatesta, to whom it was believed they had been bequeathed by the Cardinal. [1]

1) Correspondence from Mr Fletcher, 19 and 22 June 1876, NPG archives.

Reproductionsback to top

The type was engraved in reverse without the Garter ribbon and star, anonymously, in line (F. O'Donoghue and (Sir) Henry M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits ... in the British Museum, 1908-25, 5).


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, 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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