Monday, 26 February 2018

Plaster bust of Queen Caroline at Queens College, Oxford.


Blog post updated 12 September 2018

An Unpublished Plaster Bust of Queen Caroline (1683 - 1737).
Princess Wilhelmina Charlotte Carolina
of Brandenberg - Ansbach.
Wife of George II

at Queens College, Oxford.
Circa 1727.
Not signed or dated.

Here attributed to Michael Rysbrack (1693 - 1770).

Life size.
Possibly a unique survival.

Published here with some selected portraits of Queen Caroline.

I am very grateful to Dr Graeme Salmon, Curator of Pictures at Queen's College for welcoming me into the college and for all his assistance.


George Vertue in his notebooks entry in 1732 (Walpole Society Journal, Vol. 22,) wrote of a list of busts by Rysbrack which he had seen in the workshop.

Included in this list is a bust of Queen Caroline - given the evident (to my eye) similarities, particularly the facial features, I would say that the Queen's College bust is most probably the earlier bust by Rysbrack and therefore quite an exciting find.

We do not know if she sat for him at the time but George Vertue also mentions a bust of George II in the same list.


I seem to remember he took a life mask of the King in 1728 and so it is quite possible that he modelled the Queen at the same time.


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When I started this blog I had no clear idea of where it would lead - my initial intention was to make sure that the research that I had done back in 2000/2 on the William Seward bust of Alexander Pope by Roubiliac was not lost. I was under the impression at the time, that several academics were in the process of writing on the subject of 18th century portrait sculpture - had I realised that it would take many years before these works saw the light of day I might have started this project a little earlier.

One of the joys of this project is that it has been a wonderful voyage of discovery, uncovering some magnificent pieces of  almost forgotten sculpture, tucked away in some fascinating out of the way places, waiting for someone to rediscover, photograph, and hopefully get them in front of a wider audience. 

There have been many highlights in this quest but visiting Queen's College, Oxford to see the plaster bust of Queen Caroline - pictured here - has certainly been one of them.

My current project for this blog - researching and photographing the portrait sculpture in the Colleges and Libraries of Oxford University - enlarging on the work previously carried out by Mrs Reginald (Rachel) Poole in Oxford and latterly Kenneth Garlick at the Bodleian Library - has been a fabulous journey.

I have received a great deal of encouragement and assistance from many people at the University.

I am very grateful to everyone who has helped me and particularly to Dana Josephson of the Bodleian Library for suggesting the project in the first place. 


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Queen Caroline.


Wilhelmine Caroline of Brandenburg - Ansbach was a daughter of Johann Friedrich, margrave of Brandenburg - Ansbach (d. 1686). She was born at Ansbach on 1 March 1683 and spent her youth primarily at Dresden and Berlin, where she formed a close friendship with Sophie Charlotte (1668-1705), queen of Prussia (from 1701-1705) and wife of Friedrich I. (1657-1713).


The Royal Family
J Simon
Mezzotint 

British Museum


Mrs Rachel Lane Poole states in her - Catalogue of Portraits in the Possession of University City and County of Oxford, that the bust was in the lower Library at Queen's (vol. II 1925) and suggested that it was a study for the statue by John Cheere in the cupola on the front of the Queens College building, but this does not tally with my photographs, and although there are some similarities in the fur lined mantle, it is quite different. 

For links to all three volumes see -



https://english18thcenturyportraitsculpture.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/catalogue-of-portraits-in-possession-of.html






The Queen's College Plaster bust of Queen Caroline alongside the statue of her by Henry Cheere in the Cupola on the front of Queens College.

For more on the Cheere statue at Queens see my previous post

http://bathartandarchitecture.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/two-statues-queen-caroline.html





Over the Gate way of Queens College, underneath a cupola facing onto the High Street.
Presented to the college in 1735 by the Provost Joseph smith in recognition of the queens gift of £1,000 to the building fund of the college in 1733.

The pose is reminiscent of the Saint Susanna by Duquesnoy of 1630/33 in Santa Maria di Loreto, Rome

Dr Magrath in The Queens College says that the cost of the statue was £125 - the design was approved by Dr George Clarke and Sir James Thornhill.

A Black plaster bust in the Lower Library is of the Queen and is perhaps a study for the head of this statue.

Info above from Catalogue of Portraits... Oxford,. Mrs Reginald Lane Poole, pub Oxford 1925.

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View of Queen's College, showing two quadrangles and Hawksmoor's original design for the cupola, above a frame divided into three; to left, Queen Philippa and the founder, Robert Eglesfield; in the centre, Queen Philippa and Edward III, enthroned, with Eglesfield presenting the plan; to right, Sir Joseph Williamson and Dr Lancaster.  1726  Etching and engraving


Queen's College, Oxford.
The Oxford Almanack 1727.

George Vertue
Engraving


View of Queen's College, showing two quadrangles and Hawksmoor's original design for the cupola, above a frame divided into three; to left, Queen Philippa and the founder, Robert Eglesfield; in the centre, Queen Philippa and Edward III, enthroned, with Eglesfield presenting the plan; to right, Sir Joseph Williamson and Dr Lancaster. 1726.

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Queens College
Michael Burghers

This engraving shows the series of  17th century statues by Vanderstein
on the west side of the library. These statues will feature in a future blog entry.

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Pages below from The Queen's College, Vol II.
by John Richard Magrath DD, pub. Oxford. 1921.






















Image result for Hawksmoor Queens College Oxford





William Henry Fox Talbot: Part of Queens College, Oxford, September 1843



The South Front of The Queen's College, Oxford.
East Side with Statues by Henry Cheerer

Two Views

Photographs by William Fox Talbot. 1843.

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Oxford Almanack
Engraving by Benjamin Green

1762.

Currently the best image I can find
Image and text below courtesy the estimable image and engraving dealers.
Sanders of Oxford.

https://www.sandersofoxford.com/


The Oxford Almanack for 1762, depicting the new facade of Queen's college, which had been recently completed, with the men responsible for the rebuilding project in the foreground. 

To the left, Sir Joseph Williamson and Dr Lancaster examine the architectural plans for the rebuilding project. Beside them, Dr Halton and Bishop Barlow likewise examine plans for the library. To the right of the scene, John Michel stands in the courtyard, indicating the position for the East Range of the quadrangle that was built with his bequest.

 Below the scene, the title for the calendar is bordered by a pair of lists, representing the succession of the Royal line from William the Conqueror to the left, and the Officers of the University for 1762 to the right. The calendar itself has been trimmed off.


Benjamin Green (c.1736-c.1800) was a British artist and royal engraver to King George III.




South Front of the Queens College Oxford, 1875.
George P. Day.

Another image from Sanders of Oxford.

George P. Day operated from 1872-1876 in 95 High Street, Oxford (presumably breaking away from Wheeler & Day). Wheeler & Day operated from 1866-1871 at 106 High Street after they bought Edward Bracher's business . In 1872, they appear to have split into two separate businesses, with Wheeler remaining at 106 and Day moving into 95 High Street


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The Queen's College, Oxford
Engraving
31.5 x 41.8 cms
by George Balthazar Probst (1673 - 1748).
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I have also previously posted on the busts of Queen Caroline

see - http://bathartandarchitecture.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/marble-bust-of-queen-caroline-by.html

For my earlier post regarding the pair of Rysbrack busts of George II and Queen Caroline and the Rysbrack busts of Kings and Queens and their setting up in the Library at St James' Palace in 1739 see -

http://bathartandarchitecture.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/the-busts-in-queen-carolines-library.html


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The Plaster bust of Queen Caroline
Here attributed to Michael Rysbrack
c. 1728





This bust has had a chequered history. It had been rescued from a builders skip perhaps sometime in 1965 - 68 when the library was being redecorated. Another very interesting 18th century plaster bust of a bearded man was saved at the same time. ( I will post on this bust shortly). It had been damaged and the new socle appears to be a replacement which is a fairly amateurish affair and could do with replacing, although its basic form suits the bust admirably. 

The black paint is also a fairly recent addition in order to obscure the restoration  this is very apparent on the back fortunately the bust itself appears unscathed - it was probably painted white or stone colour originally.

All the portrait sculpture show her in an ermine lined robe as do many of the painted and engraved portraits

Hopefully and ideally in the long term the black paint will be removed and a new socle made for it.




























The back (above and below)showing clearly the marks of the tool used for shaping the original terracotta.






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The Signed Versions of the Rysbrack Busts of Queen Caroline.

A few notes -

George Vertue reports - In June 1735 - Queen Caroline 'made a visit to Mr Rysbrake to see his works and especially the equestrian statue of K.William in brass that is to be set up in Bristol' and goes on 'also the busts of Marble of Kings and Queens done lately by him to adorn some palace. upon her seeing K. James I face she turned about and said si il me semble a une boureau I wont have that done, she said, one may guess she forgot from whence her succession came and also, lyes or what had been ingrafted or told her about that king.

George Vertue - In 1738, he noted that ‘the KING … sat to [Rysbrack] at Kensington twice. to have his picture modelled in Clay. the likeness much approvd on – and with a good Air. – also a Moddel of the Queen vastly like. Tho’ not done from the life’. 

The resulting terracotta models, which are signed and dated 1738, can now be seen at Kensington Palace (RCIN 1411-1412). In 1739 Vertue recorded that ‘two Marble Bustos the one of his present Majesty from a Model done from the life by Mr Rysbrack – and another busto of the late Majesty Q. Caroline both were erected in the New Library at St. James, Green Park’. 

The busts probably stood in niches over the fireplaces at either end of the double-cube interior, while Rysbrack’s terracotta kings and queens rested on high brackets along the side walls.


In 1738 after the Queens death Vertue notes - 'Mr Rysbrack has finished as model of the Kings face in Wax, only at opportunities of seeing the king that is thought very like'.

 After the death of Queen Caroline George Vertue wrote ' as he has done more eminent and noble persons from the life his great merit has recommended him to the KING, who sat for him at Kensington twice, to have his picture modelled in clay. the likeness much approved on - and with a good air. also a Model of the Queen vastly like, tho not done from the life'.

In 1739 Vertue recorded that ‘two Marble Bustos the one of his present Majesty from a Model done from the life by Mr Rysbrack – and another busto of the late Majesty Q. Caroline, both were erected in the New Library at St. James, Green Park’









Queen Caroline
Michael Rysbrack.
Terracotta.
Height 60 cms
Paired with a bust of George II.
Signed and dated 1739.
 Currently in the Presence Chamber, Kensington Palace.

It has been assumed that these terracottas were originally made as a modellos for the Marble busts commissioned by the Queen for the decoration of the new library at St James Palace, but there are subtle differences - particularly in the dress - the work on this terracotta is closer to the bust now in the Wallace Collection ( photograph below).

The Rysbrack terracotta of Queen Caroline in the Riksmusuem is closer to the marble in the Royal Collection

see the photographs below for comparisons.



Bought by Queen Mary, consort of George V at the dispersal of Lord Hathertons sale of Rysbrack terracottas at Spinks in 1932. Hatherton was a descendant of Sir Edward Littleton who had bought them for Teddesley Hall.

Royal Collection.





Royal Collection
Low Resolution

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Queen Caroline
Michael Rysbrack
Marble
Height 68.8 cms

First recorded in the collection at Hartford House in 1870.

Sotheby's in their sale catalogue for The Howard Hodgkin Sale of 2017 make the very valid point that the inscription on the bust of George II in that sale matches very closely the inscription on the base of the Wallace Collection marble of Queen Caroline. Suggesting that they were originally a pair.

For the Howard Hodgkin / Sotheby's Rysbrack marble bust of George II see my post -

 https://bathartandarchitecture.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/marble-bust-of-george-ii-by-rysbrack-at.html

Photographed by the author.

Wallace Collection.















Base of the Sotheby/ Howard Hodgkin bust of George II showing the inscription.


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Queen Caroline
Michael Rysbrack
they say unfired clay
Signed and dated
Mich. Rysbrack 1738.
Height 66 cms.


The Royal Collection website states that this terracotta version of Queen Caroline’s bust belonged to her daughter Anne, Princess Royal, and was recorded at the Stadholder’s court in Leeuwarden in 1764.





The back of the Rijksmuseum Terracotta
The signature is just discernible in this photograph

Rijksmuseum


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Queen Caroline
Marble
71.5 cms tall
in the Royal Collection from 1739.

The Inscription just visible on the base of the bust (right hand side proper).
Michael Rysbrack
Marble

Royal Collection.

https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/31317/caroline-consort-of-george-ii-1683-1737



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The Four Rysbrack busts of Queen Caroline.

Above left : The Royal Collection Marble 1739 - Right: The Wallace Collection Marble .
Below left:  The Rijksmuseum terracotta, 1738 - Right: The Royal Collection Terracotta 1738.


Note the subtle differences in the dress and hair.
 The Royal Collection Marble follows closely the Rijksmuseum terracotta whilst the Wallace Collection marble follows the Royal Collection terracotta.



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Prince Georg and Princess Wilhemina Carol.
Ehrenreich Hannibal
64mm diam
1705

This medal commemorates the marriage of the Electoral Prince of Hanover, afterwards George II of England, with the daughter of John Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Anspach, afterwards Queen Caroline, at the palace of Herrenhausen, Hanover

Text and image courtesy British Museum.

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Anonymous German engraving



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Queen Caroline

Wilhelmina Carolina
Princess of Brandenberg - Anspach
engraving
Johann Christoph Weigel (1661 - 1726).

from -

http://www.bildarchivaustria.at/Pages/ImageDetail.aspx?p_iBildID=5269606



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Caroline as Princess of Wales
John Faber
Mezzotint
203 x 150 mm
undated c 1715 - 20
paired with a mezzo of Prince George
British Museum


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Queen Caroline when Princess of Wales
John Simon after Benjamin Artaud
Mezzotint.
339 x 248 mm.
c. 1720
British Museum
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Queen Caroline when Princess of Wales
John Faber (1695 - 1756).
after Godfrey Kneller

Mezzotint
349 x 254 mm.
1716.

National Portrait Gallery

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Queen Caroline when Princess of Wales
John Smith after Godfrey Kneller
Mezzotint
Platemark 20 x 15 cms
1717
Royal Collection

https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/search#/18/collection/603917/her-royal-highness-wilhelmina-charlotta-princess-of-wales


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Queen Caroline
John Smith
Mezzotint
Platemark size 354 x 260 mm.
After Kneller
Dated 1727.
This mezzotint is based on the earlier version of 1717 (above).

National Portrait Gallery.

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George II, Queen Caroline and  Frederick Prince of Wales.
J. Simon
Mezzotint
264 x 344
1727


British Museum

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Queen Caroline
Medallion John Croker
34 mm.
1727


This is the official coronation medal. Queen Caroline is represented between the chief objects of her affection. She had evinced her firm attachment to the "Protestant Religion in refusing the hand of Charles, son of the Emperor Leopold I, when the prospects were fair of his succeeding to the kingdom of Spain and to the Empire.See George II and Caroline, Coronation Verses, London, 1761, front. 
Text from British Museum website

British Museum

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King George and Queen Caroline
Anonymous
36mm
1727
British Museum


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Queen Caroline
Attributed to Philip Mercier (1689 - 1760).
Oil on Canvas
239 x 145 cms
Hertford Magistrates Court


Presented to Hertford by the Third Earl Cowper in 1768
Image courtesy Art UK


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Queen Caroline

Charles Jervas (1675 - 1739) or Studio
c.1730.
Oil on Canvas
233 x 145 cms

Purchased from the estate of James Adam Gordon 1856

Merchants Hall Society of Merchant Venturers Bistol
Image courtesy Art UK





Another version of the painting above
attributed to the Studio of Charles Jervas

250 x 145 cms

Old Council House, Bristol City Council.

Image Courtesy Art UK





Interior of the Guildhall London
Showing portraits of George II and Queen Caroline.
(were these destroyed in the fire? Check).
Engraving
221 x 170 mm
c.1730.
British Museum


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Queen Caroline
Medallion
Jean Dassier
40 mm
1731

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George II and Queen Caroline
Silver Medallion
Peter Paul Werner
43 mm diam
1731

This medal commemorates the happy state of Britain when the second Treaty of Vienna, by the pacification of the Empire and the consequent repose of Hanover, had freed it from the apprehension of disturbances.

Text and image - British Museum

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King George II and Queen Caroline with their family on the reverse
Medallion
68 mm
T Croker
The Children by John Sigismund Tanner
1732
British Museum

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Queen Caroline
John Faber
After Joseph Highmore (1692 - 1780).
Mezzotint
352 x 251 mm. Plate size.

National Portrait Gallery


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Queen Caroline
Mezzotint

John Faber
(after the Vanderbank original of 1736)
510 x 355mm approx.
1739

British Museum

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Queen Caroline
T Riley
after Vanderbank
Mezzotint
351 x 255 trimmed
c. 1740's
British Museum

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Queen Caroline
John Faber
after John Vanderbank (1694 - 1739).
From the original in possession of the Duke of Richmond.
Mezzotint
326 x 223 mm (Paper size).

National Portrait Gallery



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Queen Caroline
Ceiling at Hampton Court


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Queen Caroline
Michael Dahl?
c.1730.
Oil on Canvas
17 x 101.5 cms
Warwick Shire Hall.

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Queen Caroline
Jacapo Amigoni (1682 - 1752)
Oil on Canvas

244 x 142 cms
Collection  of English Heritage
Wrest Park


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Engraving
George Vertue after Amigoni
1736





Queen Caroline
Attrib Jacobo Amigoni (1682 - 1752).
Oil on canvas.
100.3 x 126.4 cms


National Gallery of Scotland




Queen Caroline
Van Haeken after Amiconi
Mezzotint
358 x 357 mm
1736.

British Museum

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Queen Caroline
Anonymous Portrait
After Kneller
Oil on Canvas
241 x 149 cms

National Gallery of Scotland

There is another version of this portrait in the Parliamentary Art Collection

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Queen Caroline
Joseph Highmore
Signed: 'Jos: Highmore Pinx'

originally attributed to Enoch Seeman
c.1735
Oil on canvas.
75.6 x 62.9 cms


Royal Collection.
probably purchased by George IV

Probably painted around 1735, Highmore’s profile portrait depicts the fifty-year-old Queen dressed in a loose gown lined with an ermine collar. Her hair is coiffed around a jewelled diadem and interlaced with a string of pearls. It is uncertain if Highmore obtained a sitting from the Queen; we know for certain from Vertue that his request was on one occasion denied. The artist’s obituary, which lists a portrait of the Queen, emphasised his ability to ‘take a likeness by memory as well as by sitting’. 

The companion image of George II was destroyed by fire in 1824 but appears in Charles Wild’s watercolour of the West Ante Room at Carlton House (RCIN 922175) and in an engraving by John Tinney (see below).




Text adapted from The First Georgians: Art and Monarchy, 1714-1760, London 2014

Text above from the Royal Collection website

see - https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/406035/queen-caroline-of-ansbach-1683-1737




West Ante Room, Carlton House.
with companion portrait to Queen Caroline (above) of George II over the door.
Charles Wild (1781 - 1835)
Pencil, Watercolour, body colour
Royal Collection



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Queen Caroline
Johann Christoph Sysang
undated German engraving perhaps based on a much earlier German portrait

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