Monday 5 February 2018

Bust of Francis Bacon Magdalen College, Oxford by Edward Hodges Baily.

The Marble Bust of Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626).
Magdalen College, Oxford.
by Edward Hodges Baily.

After the Original by Louis Francois Roubiliac
Paired with the bust of John Locke.
Edward Hodges Baily

This post is a brief survey of the Roubiliac type busts of Francis Bacon.

I have already posted on the Wren Library bust of Bacon by Roubiliac, but since this posting I have visited and taken my own photographs of all the portrait sculpture at the Wren Library and Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge and will be updating my previous posts in the near future.

Whilst their are very obvious similarities in the depiction of the hair and ruff the clothing has been adapted by Hodges Baily.

In my opinion a competent bust marred by the finish of the ruff, particularly in the very obvious drilling in the folds at the edge.


A Marble Bust of Francis Bacon.
Royal Collection.
Privy Chamber, Kensington Palace.
78 cms tall.
They say 18th Century - there is no record on the website for when it entered the Royal Collection.

Image from -


Marble Bust of Francis Bacon 
Louis Francois Roubiliac
Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge.
Photographed by the author.

There is / was a plaster cast in the library at Wilton House (Esdaile).

There is no mention of any bust of Bacion in the Roubiliac auction sale catalogue at his St Martin's Lane workshop by Langford's12 - 15th May 1762.


Francis Bacon.
Library, Trinity College, Dublin.
Unsigned but almost certainly from the workshop of Louis Francois Roubiliac.

My theory is that it the unsigned busts at Trinity are perhaps works by John van Nost III
perhaps working in the studio of Louis Francois Roubiliac and based on an original by Roubiliac.
It is possible that the missing original terracotta was once in the British Museum (see the ambiguous reference in Esdaile page 105).


Francis Bacon
 National Trust
Cheere type bust by Robert Shout of Holburn.

see -


Francis Bacon.
John Cheere 
Supplied in 1749
Plaster Height 22" 
Supplied to Kirkleatham Hall by Cheere.
York Museums.

Whilst these busts appear to resemble the Roubiliac type busts. They were probably an invention by John Cheere or somone in his workshop at Hyde Park Corner.


Bronze Medallion 
by Jean Dassier 
Bronze 42 mm Diam.


Silver medal in very low relief. It has a ring for suspension.

Francis Bacon
Bronze Medallion
by Thomas Bushell
41 mm
British Museum

see -


All the 18th century images seem to derive from the engraving below by Simon de Passe

Portrait of Sir Francis Bacon when Lord Keeper, HL, wearing hat and ruff, in an oval cartouche Engraving

Francis Bacon
Simon van de Passe
182 x 115 mm
c. 1618
British Museum

An engraving of Francis Bacon (1561–1626), politician and philosopher, Privy Councillor from 1616, Lord Chancellor from 1618, Viscount St Alban from 1621. Portrait wearing hat, with high ruff, brocade corselet and fur mantle. Holding the purse of the Great Seal. This print records Bacon's role as Lord Keeper, which he held from March 1617, but not his appointment as Lord Chancellor in January 1618, suggesting it was made in the latter part of 1617. The plate was later altered to be a portrait of Thomas Coventry.

Portrait of Francis Bacon, half length in an oval, wearing ruff, robes, and ribbon; hand resting on a coat of arms; above, a motto, 'Moniti meliora'.  Engraving

Francis Bacon
Crispian de Passe
154 x 97 mm

1617 - 1630.
British Museum


Portrait of Francis Bacon, nearly whole length, wearing hat, ruff, robes, ribbon and medal, and fur-trimmed cloak, seated at a table writing in a book; books and coat of arms in background to right, curtain in background to left; above, laurel wreath with inscription: 'Tertius A' Platone PhilosophiƦ Princeps'; frontispiece to Bacon's 'Of the Advancement of Learning' (1640) and 'The Historie of the Reign of King Henry the Seventh' (1641). 1640  Engraving

Francis Bacon

Frontispiece to Bacon's 'Of the advancement of Learning' 1640
and 'The Historie of the Reign of King Henry VII' 1641

William Marshall 
Engraving, 1640.

British Museum.


Francis Bacon (1561–1626), 1st Baron Verulam and Viscount St Albans, Lawyer, Philosopher, Poet and Lord Chancellor

Francis Bacon
William Larkin
Oil on Panel
113 x 83 cms
c. 1617
Trinity College, Cambridge
Gifted from Peter Burrel - 1751


Portland Stone bust of Francis Bacon in the Temple of Worthies 
at Stowe, Buckinghamshire
Michael Rysbrack 

see my previous post -

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