Thursday 8 February 2024

Hewetson in Rome (Part 15). Henry Frederick Duke of Cumberland and his brother William Henry Duke of Gloucester.


Post under construction.

Christopher Hewetson (1737 - 1798) a Sculptor in Rome in the late 18th Century (Part 15). 

An Anonymous Carved Marble Bust of Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland (1745 - 90).

Here tentatively attributed to Christopher Hewetson.

Victoria and Albert Museum.

Height 66.5 cms.

The Duke of Cumberland's first Grand Tour visit to Italy, was from 1773 - 4 when he was accompanied by his wife Morganatic Lady Anne Luttrell (widow of Christopher Horton), and her sister Lady Elizabeth Luttrell and a large following?. 

Horace Mann referred to them as "the travelling court" and described the Duke in his correspondence with Horace Walpole as the "Royal Idiot".

Pietro Verri described them them as very lively and a bit eccentric, the Duchess educated but very preoccupied with etiquette. Her sister appears to have dominated them she was described by Alberico Belgioioso as intelligent and brilliant but a Republican!

He was in Rome in 6 March until 13 April 1774, where he appears to have enjoyed himself, he was granted three audiences by the Pope (introduced by Thomas Jenkins).  

Cardinal de Bernis found the Royal Couple "tres affables, fort ouverts et tres peu politiques" . 

It seems that the Duke made no effort to retain Royal dignity. Father Thorpe described several episodes which led the Romans to suspect that the Duke might be "deficient in good breeding" (info Ingamells).

He dove a Phaeton , with one lame horse into the Piazza at St Peters and was spotted leading the Marchese Massimi "about the more retired parts of that large church"

They couple returned to England in May.

He visited Italy again in 1785 - 6 in the company of his wife Ann Luttrell and her sister and companion Lady Elizabeth Luttrell.

Information above from A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy.........John Ingamells. Pub Yale 1997.

This is another very fine carved marble bust that has troubled me over the years, particularly the attribution to John van Nost III.

I have written briefly about this bust in the past see -


The Hewetson Bust of  Anton Raphael Mengs (1728 - 79).


1779 - 85?

I am including an enlarged photograph of the detail of the socle  for comparison with the bust of Henry Frederick Duke of Cumberland

The panelled eared support was used by Hewetson on several occasions

National Gallery Prague.


The van Nost attribution

It has in the past been attributed to John van Nost III (1713 - 80) by Malcolm Baker, but having considered most of the available images and information regarding the works of van Nost and Hewetson I am now of the opinion that the sculptor is most likely to have been Christopher Hewetson.

If this bust was carved by van Nost at about the same time as the inscribed bust of George III of 1764 at the Yale Centre for British Art (see the images below) the Duke would have been aged about 19/20.

We know that van Nost was working in London in 1763 when he was listed in Mortimers Universal Director at Mr Clarke's - 104 on the Pavement, West side St Martin's Lane, Opposite Mays Buildings. He is noted in the St Martin's Rate books page 28, 1763.

This had been a previous address of Sir James Thornhill (needs verifying).

J T Smith later recollected that Nost had lived at 104, St Martin’s Lane, in a large house once inhabited and decorated by King George I’s sergeant painter, Sir James Thornhill.

Joshua Reynolds resided and was working at this address in 1747 and after returning from Italy in 1752 and before moving to Great Newport St in 1753.

In 1760 Francis Hayman (1708 - 1776) resided at 104.

I have posted at some length on the works of John van Nost III - he was certainly a very competent sculptor, but the quality of the finish of this bust is so good that I cannot believe it was carved by Nost. It is just too fine!

See my posts on the van Nost busts of Samuel Madden, Thomas Prior and Lord Chesterfield at the Royal Dublin Society.

and the bust of Lord Chesterfield at Dublin Castle -

Another anonymous bust (below) which is in the Louvre has been attributed to John van Nost III by Malcolm Baker - I beg to disagree (again).  See my post for comparisons with similar busts.

For more recent photographs of this bust see

The repair to the nose is now much clearer in these photographs.

I will return to the Louvre bust in due course.

The anonymous Louvre Bust

My assessment is that this excellent anonymous bust is most likely to be an early bust by Roubiliac perhaps made in the 1730's in the workshops of either Henry Cheere or Thomas Carter.


A very telling detail on this bust of Henry Frederick illustrated above is the carving of the pupils of the eyes. The form and profile of the eared support and turned socle which were much used although not exclusively by Hewetson is also perhaps indicative.

This bust was purchased by Dr Hildburgh, F.S.A. from Rogers, Chapman and Thomas's Auction Rooms in Gloucester Road, London, for a few shillings' early in November 1941. (those were the days!). Given by Dr Hildburgh, F.S.A. to the Museum in 1941. 

When first acquired this bust was thought to depict William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. However more recently it has been suggested that it in fact bears a much closer resemblance to Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland.

 This three-quarters bust depicts a man looking to the left with the front hair waved back and rolled up in a single curl over each ear and the back hair tied in a queue. He wears a clock over a plain breastplate and a high folded stock round the neck. The Star of the Order of the Garter appears in the folds of the cloak.


A Very Brief Biography of 
Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland.

Henry Frederick Duke of Cumberland was born on 26th October 1745, sixth child and fourth son of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales (son of George II) and his wife Augusta at Leicester House in London.

He was appointed Ranger of Windsor Great Park by the King and created Duke of Cumberland in 1766.

Joining the navy in 1768 as a Midshipman, he swiftly rose to the rank of vice-admiral in 1770. 

He had a notorious relationship with Lady Grosvenor but married the Hon. Anne Horton, widow of Christopher Horton of Catton Hall and eldest daughter of Simon Luttrell, 1st Earl of Carhampton, on 2nd October 1771. They had no children and she died abroad in 1803.

In 1771 he secretly married in Calais the young widow of Christopher Horton, Ann Horton  (aged 24) -  (George III did not approve, considering her a social inferior and he was barred from the King's presence for a short time).

Anne Horton (1743-1808) was the daughter of Simon Luttrell, Baron Irnham (1713–87) Ist Earl of Carhampton, and Judith Maria Lawes (d. 1798). Her family were seen by contemporaries as political opportunists and the marriage prompted George III to force the Royal Marriages Act through parliament, stipulating that descendants of George II could not marry without the sovereign's consent.

Horace Walpole, described the duchess in 1771 as ‘extremely pretty, not handsome, very well made, with the most amorous eyes in the world and eyelashes a yard long’. She was also ‘Coquette beyond measure, artful as Cleopatra, and completely mistress of all her passions and projects’.

Her sister Elizabeth Luttrell (was her constant companion.

The Cumberlands established a rival court at Cumberland House in Pall Mall and were noted for their conspicuous consumption in entertainments, music and art.

When the duke died, the duchess augmented her annual allowance of £4,000 by raising additional funds from auctioning the duke's music library – including manuscripts by Handel and Haydn – musical instruments and books, in February 1791. In 1800, she moved to the continent and died at Gorizia, near Trieste, Italy, in 1808.

He was known in England according to Horace Walpole as "the Royal idiot" (Walpole Correspondence -to Horace Mann, 31 August 1770.

His first Grand Tour visit to Italy was 1773 - 4,

In 1778 he was made an Admiral but forbidden to take a command.

He visited Italy again in 1785 - 6 in the company of his Morganatic wife Ann Horton and her sister and companion Lady Elizabeth Luttrell.

According to Alberico Balbiano di Belgioioso Lady Elizabeth was "testina veramente originale verra Inglese, donna e repubblicana".

Henry died after alighting from his coach outside Cumberland House in Pall Mall, aged 45 on 18th September 1790.


Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland.

Miniature by Richard Crosse

Exhib Royal Academy 1771

Royal Coll.

Crosse was born near Cullompton, Devonshire. He was a deaf mute and took up miniature painting as a hobby, then went to London to study at Shipley's Drawing School. He was appointed Painter in Enamel to George III in 1788. He painted many leading figures of the day and was a prolific worker – in 1777 he produced about 100 miniatures.


Henry Frederick Duke of Cumberland.

Joshua Reynolds.

This portrait was begun in 1772 and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1773; it was originally full-length and its appearance can be seen in Thomas Watson’s print of 20 May 1774. At some time before 1792 it was acquired by George IV and suffered so much in the Carlton House fire of 8 June 1824 that only the parts we now see could be retrieved. The sitter is wearing the robes and collar of the Order of the Garter, and with powdered hair.


Acquired by George IV; recorded in its original dimensions (before fire-damage) in the West Ante Room at Carlton House in 1819 (no 1), where it appears in Pyne's illustrated Royal Residences of 1819 (RCIN 922175); taken from there to the Grand Corridor at Windsor Castle



William Henry, Duke of Gloucester. (1743 - 1805).

Younger brother of George III.

Christopher Hewetson.

Marble Bust.

64.5 cms tall overall.

Signed on the left Chr. Hewetson Fecit Romae 1772.

Royal Collection. Windsor Castle.

The inscribed marble collar on the socle is a later addition.

Many of the marble busts in the Royal Collection have this addition.

The Duke of Gloucester was in Rome on a diplomatic mission in 1772.

He returned to Rome with his wife Maria Duchess of Gloucester in 1776.

See the entry in Grand Tour, The Lure of Italy in the Eighteenth Century / Edited by Andrew Wilton and Ilaria Bignamini / Tate Gallery Publishing / London / 1996 p. 79.

Images below Courtesy Royal Collection.

The website states signed and dated 1772, this is confirmed by the entry in Tate Gallery's The Grand Tour exhibition catalogue of 1996.. Exhibits 36 and 37.


There is a Plaster bust of William Henry, Duke of Gloucester at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

after the Hewetson bust in the Royal Collection.

For the Royal Collection bust see -

It is erroneously described as a bust of Frederick Duke of York by Joseph Nollekens.

The usual high quality images from Art UK




Maria, Duchess of Gloucester. (1736 - 1807).

Maria Walpole.

Marble bust. 

Height 70.5 cms.

The bust is not signed - it has the later added collar on the socle with the inscription Maria Consort of WH Duke of Gloucester.

Below a detail of the later inscribed collar on the socle.

This bust deserves better photographs.

Maria Walpole, Duchess of Gloucester.

The image below was taken from a glass negative.

Probably 1874/5.

These photographs were taken for an inventory by John Wesley Livingston.

A Fabulous resource for images of the Royal Collection in the 1770's.


Augustus, Duke of Sussex (1773 - 1843).

Cristofano Prosperi.

Active in England from c. 1800 -1817

Prosperi was the long term assistant to Christopher Hewetson.

Augustus Frederick was the 9th child of King George III of the United Kingdom and his wife, Queen Charlotte, born in 1773. He was tutored at home and then, in 1786, sent to the University of Göttingen in Germany.


In 1793, while travelling in Italy, he met and married Lady Augusta Murray, daughter of the Earl of Dunmore. On their return to England, they again married in secret, without the consent of the King. Since this was illegal under the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, the marriage was annulled by the Prerogative Court in 1794, though Augustus Frederick continued to live with Lady Augusta until 1801 and they had two children. 

In November 1801, he was created Duke of Sussex. In 1831, he married a second time, again without the consent of the King. This marriage was to Lady Cecilia Buggin, daughter of the Earl of Arran.


Augustus, Duke of Sussex (1773 - 1843).

Cristoforo Prosperi.

The Dreweatts Auctions Plaster Bust Lot 261, 28 Jan 2024.

Signed to cast Mr Prosperi fecit 51.5cm high, 30.5cm wide Christopher Prosperi (Fl. 1800-1816) exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1810 and 1816 and displayed a marble bust of The Duke of Sussex in 1811 (no.953). The marble is now held at Woburn Abbey Bedfordshire. 

The Duke was the ninth son of George III and the brother of George IV. He was given apartments in Kensington Palace (presently occupied by the Prince and Princess of Wales)


George III. (1738 - 1820).

John van Nost III.

Two Marble Busts.

Inscribed 1764 and 1767.

Posted here to enable comparison between the techniques of Christopher Hewetson and John van Nost III.

1. The Yale Centre for British Art Version. Dated 1764.

Following the death of the actor David Garrick's widow, Eva, in 1822, the contents of the couple's country villa and their apartment in the Thames-side Adelphi, London, was sold at auction in the capital in 1823. 

Intriguingly, the sale included a bust described as 'V. Nost, 1764. An early bust of his late Majesty, George III'.

Annoyingly there is no further reference to provenance on the website

2. The V and A Bust. Dated 1767.

Currently believed on loan to the British Museum.

Height 66 cms.


Inscribed at the base of the prop on the back "From the Life by Van Nost Sculp 1767".

Included in the Sotheby's sale, 25 January 1957, lot 50, the property of the late Darcy Edmund Taylor Esq. Bought for £140 from Frank Partridge & Sons, Ltd, who bid on the Museum's behalf at a Sotheby's sale, and secured the bust for the stated price.


A few note on the busts of John van Nost III.

A bust of the famous actor-manager David Garrick (1717-1779) by van Nost III was apparently reproduced in many copies and widely displayed in Barber's and Perruquier's (wig makers) shops but if this so then no examples appear to have survived - I am assuming that this would be a bear headed bust for displaying the products of the Perruquier.

Intriguingly there was a bust in the studio of Louis Francois Roubiliac drawn by the sculptor Joseph Nollekens which resembles a portrait of David Garrick without a wig. So far this is the only bust in the 7 Nollekens drawing that cannot be positively identified. There is a series of 7 drawings of by Nollekens now in the Harris Museum Preston.

see my post -

The Harris Museum, Preston Nollekens drawing from the Roubiliac studio in 1762.

This bust is definitely not Isaac Newton.

Following the death of Garrick's widow, Eva, in 1822, the contents of the couple's country villa and their apartment in the Thames-side Adelphi, London, was sold at auction in the capital in 1823. 

Intriguingly, the sale included a bust described as 'V. Nost, 1764. An early bust of his late Majesty, George III'.

for Garrick Papers and more on the Life of Garrick see -


The Bust of George III by John van Nost III. from life? dated 1767.

It is very obviously a later version of the 1764 bust now at Yale (see above).

Images and details below courtesy the Victoria and Albert Museum website.


Probably not entirely relevant to this post but this seems like a good place to put these images.

Carlton House c. 1819.

Watercolours by Charles Wild.

The landing above the Vestibule.

Images courtesy The Royal Collection website.

Some of these busts are not immediately identifiable but the busts of Ligonier and George II by Roubiliac with their original socles are on the left and right of this watercolour.
The bust in the centre is probably the bust of George III by Chantry

I have touched on these busts in a recent posts.

I was very pleased with little piece of original research -

A watercolour of the octagonal vestibule, which lead from the entrance hall and was at the heart of Carlton House. The walls were lined with busts of contemporary figures, and at the centre light flooded from an open balcony above which was a glass roof.


This is one of a series of views of the interiors of the royal palaces made at the instigation of William Henry Pyne between 1816 and 1819. The views were published by subscription, under the title History of the Royal Residences. A set of the views, some original watercolours, other heavily-coloured prints, were acquired by George, Prince Regent, for his library at Carlton House.

Provenance -

Presumably acquired by George IV for the library at Carlton House, c.1819.

Images from the Royal Collection website.

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