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Henry Benedict Maria Clement Stuart, Cardinal York

Henry Benedict Maria Clement Stuart, Cardinal York, by Hugh Douglas Hamilton, circa 1786 -NPG 378 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Henry Benedict Maria Clement Stuart, Cardinal York

by Hugh Douglas Hamilton
circa 1786
9 5/8 in. x 8 1/2 in. (244 mm x 216 mm)
NPG 378

Inscriptionback to top

Written in ink on the backing board: Card d' York./Rosalba Carreir[a]/Pinxet./Vide Museu[?] Fiorentino, e/Giornale della Medesima/Rosalba.; under this, faintly in pencil: Cardinal Himenes. [1]

1) So read in 1914. The inscription is now even fainter.

This portraitback to top

In 1888, Scharf attributed this to Rosalba. [1] However, this is a typical example of H. D. Hamilton's work, and in 1938 Miss Stuart-Wortley discovered a receipt from him in the Stuart Papers at Windsor, dated 12 July 1786, for 'A Portrait of His Royal Highness the Cardinal York, 20 Sequins'. Mention in an account book makes it clear that this was 'in Pastella'. The payment is probably for two drawings, as an account of 3 ½ sequins, 13 October 1785, was for 'three Pictures of Madam the Duchess of Albany'. NPG 378 was probably done in Rome; Hamilton went to Italy in 1778 and returned to Ireland in 1791. There is another half length version at Stanford Hall (Lord Braye) purchased by Lady Braye in Rome in 1842 presumably from the Marquis Malatesta, the nephew of the sitter's executor and friend. [2] A good pastel version at Townley Hall, near Drogheda, was also purchased in 1842 from the Marquis Malatesta. [3] Although Miss Stuart-Wortley connected this receipt with NPG 378 it could refer to either of the other versions.

Footnotesback to top

1) Sir George Scharf, Historical and Descriptive Catalogue of the Pictures, Busts & etc. in the National Portrait Gallery, new and enlarged edition, 1888, p 491.
2) Country Life, CIV, 1948, pp 1104-05, reproduced.
3) Ibid.

Physical descriptionback to top

Dark brown eyes, light eyebrows, grey wig; scarlet skull cap and mozzetta, around the neck a silver pectoral cross on a small gold chain; bluish-grey background shading to brown; bottom corners not coloured.

Conservationback to top

Some losses in the face; the scarlets have faded; slight water stains up the right-hand edge.

Provenanceback to top

Bought, 1873, from B. Butterworth; see Prince Charles, NPG 376.


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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