Monday 24 July 2023

The Busts of Admiral Edward Vernon


 The Busts of Admiral Edward (grog)Vernon (1684 - 1757).

Continuing the blog in a nautical vein!

Admiral Edward Vernon after Rysbrack?


























Admiral Vernon.

Marble Bust.

John Francis (1780 - 1861).
Pupil of Samuel Joseph and Francis Chantrey

Overall: 750 mm x 585 mm.

The base is signed on sitter's right side: 'After Roubiliac / by J. Francis / Albany St. London' and inscribed on the front 'ADMIRAL VERNON / Presented by The Rt. Hon. / George John Warren / Lord Vernon / 1838' (to Greenwich Hospital).

The photographs above taken by the author under difficult circumstances.

This is a copy of a bust at Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire, the former Vernon seat which has been a National Trust property since 1967. The admiral is, however, from the Cheshire branch of the family and was son of James Vernon, William III's Secretary of State. 

The attribution of the original to Roubiliac is of long standing but it is now thought more likely to be by Rysbrack. See note below ref letter at Bleheim from Rysbrack 

The original was commissioned by the aged Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, in 1743 and set up on a pillar in her house in Wimbledon with the following inscription: 

'To / Admiral Vernon / Ever Victorious without a Colleague / who / Renouncing for the Publick every Private Enjoyment / Deserted by all but his own Courage and Virtue, / Supported solely by the Spirit of a Patriot / With Six Ships only / Repaired the Disgraces of a British Navy, / While the Honour of his Country / Was betrayed at Home, / He asserted it abroad / And / While the Councils of England / Were under the influence of France / Humbled the Pride of her and Spain'.




https://www.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/rmgc-object-63997

Current thinking is that the original was sculpted by Rysbrack and not by Roubiliac.

see A Biographical Dictionary.. Yale 2009.


Notes from the NPG website.

which could do with updating.

see -

https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/personExtended/mp04624/edward-vernon?tab=iconography


In 1743 Vernon sat for a bust by Rysbrack intended for Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. The sculptor's letter to the Duchess' agent Mr Stephens, dated 19 March 1743, is still at Blenheim: 

'Be pleased to aquent her Grace that Admiral Vernon Sat for is Busto for the first time and I don't dout if I shall make the Busto in marble better by that miens. The Admiral is gon hout of town for 10 or 12 days but promist me another Sitting when he comes back.' [3] 

The bust itself has disappeared? but as Mrs Rowan and Mr St Q. Wall have suggested, [4] it may well be the excellent unattributed likeness, lot 124 of the second Dashwood sale and now in the National Maritime Museum. 

A similar bust at Sudbury, according to a note in the Vernon archive written on paper with an 1824 watermark, was 'executed by Roubillat for Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough', [5] but it is entirely consistent with Rysbrack.

3) M. I. Webb, Michael Rysbrack Sculptor, 1954, p 167.

4) Correspondence, NPG archives.

5) K. A. Esdaile, The Life and Works of Louis Fran├žois Roubiliac, 1928, p 55.


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The Bust at Sudbury House.

Two Photographs courtesy The National Trust.








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This image lifted from the website -

https://wherefivevalleysmeet.blogspot.com/2012/08/sudbury-hall-derbyshire.html

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Admiral Vernon.

Marble bust number 2.

National Maritime Museum.

For some reason the original marble base (below) was replaced with an inappropriate turned marble socle with an unsightly vein running from top to bottom.

It is suggested that this is the original marble bust by Rysbrack ordered by the Duchess of Marlborough.

I would like to obtain better photographs but these will have to do for the time being!






The bust and original marble base (below) came from the collection of Charles E. Dashwood of Wherstead Park, Ipswich, via a sale at Sotheby's on 15 June 1934. 

It was purchased there by Spink's on behalf of Sir James Caird (for the NMM).



The flared pedestal bears the inscription ' Admiral Vernon / Quid virtus & quid Sapientia possit / Utile proposuit nobis Exemplar'. While not entirely correct Latin, this can be translated as 'He set before us a useful example of what virtue and wisdom may achieve'.


for the Vernons at Orwell Park see -

https://oasi.org.uk/OPO/Vernons/Vernons.php

...............................

Admiral Vernon - The Rysbrack Monument in Westminster Abbey.

National Galleries of Scotland.

https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/12713/0?overlay=download


NPG please note the quality of the image and free download.

It really is about time the NPG updated their antiquated policy over the providing of the (very poor quality) images of their holdings.






Crop of the above drawing.

Michael Rysbrack.

Design for the Vernon Monument in Westminster Abbey.

Drawing 

Measurements:36.70 x 22.70 cm

David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy transferred 1910.

Accession number: D 943.

-------------------------


The Victoria and Albert Museum drawing for the Monument to Admiral Vernon in Westminster Abbey.

https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1012560/drawing-rysbrack-john-michael/









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Design for the Westminster Abbey Monument

Michael Rysbrack.

c. 1763.

Yale Centre for British Art.

https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:6370









..............................

Rysbrack's terracotta model for the figure of Fame.

For the Vernon Monument in Westminster Abbey.

Height 58.1 cms.

Victoria and Albert Museum.


















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Poor quality photograph from the Westminster Abbey website





Photograph above taken by the author.

Unfortunately much of the monument was obscured at the time of my visit.

__________________

Some Painted or engraved portraits of Admiral Vernon.




Thomas Hudson

dated 1750.

H 127 x W 102 cms.

Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service: Ipswich Borough Council Collection.

Purchased from Dashwood Sale, Sotheby's. Wherstead Park, Ipswich,  15 June 1934.

Image from Art UK website.

https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/admiral-edward-vernon-16841757-12056/search/keyword:admiral-vernon--referrer:global-search/page/1/view_as/grid


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Admiral Vernon.

Charles Philips (1708 - 47).

There are two other versions of this portrait.

One at the NMM and one at Sudbury.

Government Art Collection.

This image from Art UK website

https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/edward-vernon-16841757-admiral-29026/search/keyword:admiral-vernon--referrer:global-search/page/1/view_as/grid


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Charles Philips

NMM.

https://www.navyrecords.org.uk/the-vernon-papers-1739-1745/

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Mc Ardell after Gainsborough.

Mezzotint Engraving.

Christchurch Mansion.

Image from Art UK website.

https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/admiral-edward-vernon-16841757-300706/search/keyword:admiral-vernon--referrer:global-search/page/1/view_as/grid



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Engraving by Foster St Paul's Church Yard.

I cannot find another version of this engraving on line.

521 x 432 mm.


Low resolution image from the National Trust.

Sudbury, Derbyshire.

https://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/652616

______________

Engraving by Thomas Bardwell.

1740's



158 x 107 mm.

British Museum.

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1853-0112-1735

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