Tuesday 19 May 2015

Elizabeth Finch by Roubiliac

    Bust by Louis Francois Roubiliac of Elizabeth Finch, Countess of Mansfield, wife of William Murray, Lord Mansfield, c.1740.

This post was updated 4 August 2023.

On 29 April 2015, I wrote in this blog about the bust of Lady Mansfield by Roubiliac. I illustrated the piece with the best photographs available to me at the time, but recently I had the opportunity to visit Kenwood House, Hampstead, North London and to take photographs of the Roubiliac bust of Lady Mansfield, the bust of Lord Mansfield by Nollekens of 1779 and the bust of Homer by Joseph Wilton.

Kenwood is administered by English Heritage - entrance is free and photography is allowed as long as flash isn't used. A very enlightened attitude. I am very grateful to English Heritage.

These photographs are not professional quality and taken with an iphone.

Photographs above by the author.


Recent photographs have been published on the ART UK website.

Here are a couple of profiles.

see -


A bust of her husband had been started by Roubiliac and was in his studio when he died.

Lot 82, first day of the Posthumous sale of the contents of the Roubiliac Studio at 66 St Martins Lane, Westminster by Messrs Langfords of the Piazza Covent Garden, Wednesday 12 May 1762.

There is only one annotated copy so far recorded, now in the British Museum print room.

See my next post.

Her father Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham and 7th Earl of Winchelsea's bust was sculpted by Michael Rysbrack in 1723. 

This portrait bust of the statesman Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, 7th Earl of Winchilsea (1647-1730), is an early work by Rysbrack, and it helped to establish his reputation in England. It was probably commissioned by William Finch, second son of the sitter, and displayed in William's house in Savile Row, London. By 1774 the bust was in place at the foot of the Great Staircase of the Finch family's country estate, Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland. It remained in the family until 1999.

Elizabeth was the youngest of six sisters and four brothers.


William Murray, Lord Mansfield by Joseph Nollekens, 1779.


Another bust of William Murray Lord Mansfield by Joseph Nollekens.

28" tall.

Executed for Sir James Marriott, Judge of the High Court of Admiralty, who was Master of Trinity Hall 1764-1803, given by him to Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

Image from the Paul Mellon Photo Archive.



Plaster bust of William Murray, Lord Mansfield.

At the Hurd Library, Hartlebury Worcestershire. 
Probably after the original by Rysbrack of at Scone Palace.
 The Hurd Library, housed in the former Bishop’s Palace at Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire, is an outstanding survival of the Age of Enlightenment. Founded in 1782 by Richard Hurd, Bishop of Worcester from 1781-1808, it is the only example of an Anglican bishop’s library remaining on its original shelves in the room built for it.  It holds the collections of four men: Alexander Pope (1688-1744), Ralph Allen (1693-1764), William Warburton (1698-1779) and Hurd himself.
Text and image from Hurd Library Blog -


The Athenaeum Club Plaster bust of Lord Mansfield.

Supplied by Pietro Sarti in 1830.

 This plaster is a cast from another bust by Nollekens, undated but certainly authentic, at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, which has slightly different drapery. J T Smith wrote that the moulds of Nollekens’s busts of Johnson (No 4) and Mansfield were sold in 1823 to James Deville, plaster worker and phrenologist in The Strand, and Sarti may have used the same moulds.




Bust of Homer by Joseph Wilton R.A. (1722 -1803).

Portrait of Lord Mansfield, 1775 by David Martin.

This portrait shows the Joseph Wilton bust of Homer left to him in his will by Alexander Pope, along with a bust of Isaac Newton by Guelphi. 

Pope also left his marble busts of Spencer, Shakespeare, Milton and Dryden by Scheemakers given to him by Prince Frederick to Mr Lyttleton (of Hagley).

Pope believed it to be by Bernini. The current bust of Homer at Kenwood is a replacement for the original still at Scone Place, the Murray family home.


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