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Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford

1 of 64 portraits of Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford

Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, by Pompeo Batoni, 1752-1756 -NPG 6180 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford

by Pompeo Batoni
1752-1756
36 3/4 in. x 29 3/4 in. (934 mm x 756 mm)
NPG 6180

This portraitback to top

In 1752-53 Lord North travelled in Italy with his step-brother William, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth. [1] By January 1753 they were in Rome, where both sat to Batoni for three-quarter length portraits, Dartmouth’s an orthodox standing pose [2] and NPG 6180 one of Batoni’s first seated three-quarter compositions. The portraits took some time to complete, and it was not until 1 May 1756 that Thomas Jenkins was able to write from Rome to Lord Dartmouth that he had ‘at last received from Signor Pompeo Lord North’s portrait with your Lordship’s and it shall be sent away at the first opportunity’. [3] Walpole later saw both portraits in the Countess of Guilford’s house in Grosvenor Square, with other Batoni three-quarter lengths of Sir Edward Dering and Lord Bolingbroke. [4]
Batoni also made half-length miniature versions in watercolour of each portrait which were dispatched from Rome late in 1754; [5] Walpole later recorded that ‘Mr George Montagu [c.1713-80] has two heads in water-colours, painted by Pompeio at the same time, of lord Dartmouth and lord North.’ [6] North’s miniature was sold from Wroxton Abbey, Sotheby’s, 27 July 1923, lot 139. [7]

Footnotesback to top

1) Dartmouth’s widowed mother married North’s widowed father; Brownlow North was their son; see J. Ingamells, Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701-1800, compiled from the Brinsley Ford Archive, 1997, p 277.
2) Private collection; A. M. Clark, ed. E. P. Bowron, Pompeo Batoni, 1985, no.195.
3) HMC 15th Report, Doubtful Portraits I, 1896, p 171.
4) Walpole Anecdotes, V, 1937, pp 18-19. All four sitters were bound, as Francis Russell has expressed it, by ‘close if complicated family ties’ (Country Life, CLIII, 1973, p 1610). See also A. M. Clark, ed. E. P. Bowron, Pompeo Batoni, 1985, nos.192, 195, 217 and pp 46, 369.
5) Jenkins, Rome, 30 March 1755, acknowledging a letter from Lord Dartmouth of 27 December 1754: ‘The case addressed to the Hon. Miss Legge, was that which contained the music, your Lordship’s and Lord North’s miniatures and some other articles’ (HMC 15th Report, app. I, 1896, p 169). The Dartmouth miniature is in a private collection in Rome (A. M. Clark, ed. E. P. Bowron, Pompeo Batoni, 1985, no.194).
6) Walpole Anecdotes, V, 1937, p 19.
7) A. M. Clark, ed. E. P. Bowron, Pompeo Batoni, 1985, no.193.

Referenceback to top

Clark 1985
A. M. Clark, ed. E. P. Bowron, Pompeo Batoni, 1985, no.192.

NACF Review 1992, p 40.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue-grey eyes, his own fair hair tied with a long black ribbon, wearing a sage-green frock coat with coral-coloured collar and cuffs, buff silk waistcoat and brown knee breeches and grey stockings; he sits in a purple chair.1

1 See A. Ribeiro, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, pp 122-23.

Provenanceback to top

By family descent at Guilford House, London, and Waldershare Park to the 9th Earl of Guilford; purchased from the Countess of Guilford by private treaty sale with the aid of the National Art Collection Fund 1992.

Exhibitionsback to top

Batoni, Kenwood, 1982 (8).


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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