portrait of william stanhope 1st earl of harrington c1725 by jonathan richardson

Portrait of William Stanhope, 1st Earl of Harrington c.1725; by Jonathan Richardson.


Price

SOLD

Item Ref

8645

Description

Oil on canvas in good carved and giltwood 18th c. frame.
This fine painting, the earliest known likeness of Harrington, is illustrated in the National Portrait Gallery's publication of 1977 'Early Georgian Portraits' (p.135, plate 362 (see image 5) as attributed to Kneller, present location unknown.
Philip Mould OBE, Mayfair portrait specialist and star of TV's 'Fake or Fortune', reattributed this portrait to Richardson when it was in his possession.
"A number of portraits were produced after the sitter's elevation to the peerage in 1730 but the only one prior to that must be of the young-looking man in armour sold from the family collection, Sotheby's, 19 February 1964, lot 20".
This fresh and lively portrait is a fine example of Richardson's work and shows why Sir Roy Strong in his book 'The British Portrait' describes the artist as "the ablest of the painters who came to prominence during the last decade of Kneller's life and who flourished after his death".
WILLIAM STANHOPE, 1st EARL OF HARRINGTON (1683? - 1756).
Stanhope’s early career saw his greatest achievements. After a spell in the army from 1710 to 1715, Stanhope was appointed plenipotentiary to Madrid. The Spanish had not yet come to terms with their declining power, and Stanhope’s task was made almost impossible by the ineptitude of the Spanish Government.
During the outbreak of war between Spain and England during the War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-1720), he fought a number of successful engagements, most notably as a volunteer with the French army where he commanded a raid on Spanish ships in the port of St Andero.
After the war, Stanhope returned to Madrid as ambassador. He achieved a notable coup in 1726, when the disgraced Spanish first Minister, Baron Ripperda, fled to Stanhope’s house and revealed Spain’s plans for an invasion of England. In 1727 Harrington was deputed as the British plenipotentiary to the congress of Aix-la-Chappelle, for which work he was created Lord Harrington in 1730. In the same year he became Secretary of State for the Northern Department. In 1746 he was appointed Viceroy of Ireland.
JONATHAN RICHARDSON (1665–1745), sometimes called "the Elder" to distinguish him from his son, was an English artist, collector of drawings, and writer on art, working almost entirely as a portrait-painter in London.
Richardson was born in 1666, but when he was about seven his father died and his mother married again. Richardson became a scrivener's apprentice, but he was released early when his master retired. Richardson was lucky enough to be taken on as a painting apprentice by John Riley. He learnt the art of portraiture from Riley whilst living at his master's house. Richardson's wife was Riley's niece.
Richardson was even more influential as a writer than as a painter according to Samuel Johnson. He is credited with inspiring Joshua Reynolds to paint and theorise with his 1715 book 'An Essay on the Theory of Painting'.
In 1731 he was considered by some art-critics as one of the three foremost painters of his time with Charles Jervas and Michael Dahl. He was the master of Thomas Hudson and George Knapton.
SIZE: 37.5 x 32.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE:
By descent.
Collection of the Earls of Harrington.
Sale, Sotheby's 1964.
Private collection
With Philip Mould Ltd (Historical Portraits), Mayfair, London.
Private collection.
LITERATURE:
John Kerslake, 'Early Georgian Portraits', National Portrait Gallery, p135, plate 361.
Internal Ref: 8645



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