Friday 1 March 2024

Hewetson (Part 32). The Duke and Duchess of St Albans.

Christopher  Hewetson in Rome (Part 32). 

The Busts of The Duke and Duchess of St Albans.

Images from de Breffny.

Aubrey Beauclerk, (1740 - 1802) 2nd Baron Vere of Hanworth subsequently 5th Duke of St Albans

Marble Bust

Height 67 cms.

He succeeded to the Barony of Vere of Hanworth on the death of his father 2 October 1781.

He and his wife were in Rome from May 1778 - 81

The Swinburnes were in Rome at the same time in 1779 and won a prize in a raffle the Duchess gave and presented it to Sir Thomas Gascoigne.

All three had their busts made by Hewetsion and cast in bronze by Valadier.

see my post -

Christies attributed the pair of busts to Hewetson on stylistic grounds which seems fair.

Provenance - by descent to the Duke of St Albans and sold by him at Christies 9 July 1979 (catalogue page 11).

Current whereabouts unknown.


Lady Catherine Beauclerk subsequently Baroness Vere of Hanworth, and Duchess of St Albans.

Formerly Lady Catherine Ponsonby daughter of the 2nd Earl of Bessborough

Marble bust.

Height 67 cms

Info below TrDictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy..... ed, Ingamells pub. Yale 1996.

Footnotes in brackets.

1778—81 Rome (May 1778—early 1781) [Germany by Feb. 1781]


 On 4 June 1778 Lady Mary Coke was told that 'Mr Beauclerke, Lady Catherine and Mr Brand [Thomas Brand, d. 1794] were gone together abroad, being so in debt they found it troublesome staying at home'.(l).

Lady Catherine had committed a 'little indiscretion' to which her father asked Beauclerk to attend, (2) doubtless her relationship with Brand (who had left a wife and children behind in England). 

They took with them their eldest daughters, Catherine (d. 1803) and Caroline (d. 1838).

They were in Rome by May 1778, where their eldest son Aubrey (1765—1815, later 6th Duke of St Albans) joined them, (3). and Thomas Bowdler noticed them there in November. (4 ).

They were to spend nearly three years in Rome, during which they were active as collectors. In September 1779 they sent home 'diversi marmori consistenti nella maggior parte in restauri moderni' (and Brand sent back eight marble columns at the same time and a further consignment of marble fragments, a vase and two modern mosaic pictures on 11 April 1780).(5)

 Smuglewicz painted two family portraits (Christie's, 23 Jun. 1978, (6) and Cheltenham AG), the first with a view of Castel Gandolfo, where the Beauclerks rented apartments through the summer of 1779. (7).

It was probably James Byres who suggested this commission; Smuglewicz had painted the Byres family and the 1790 inventory of Byres's house listed a portrait of Mr Beauclerk by [Solomon] Williams and an engraving of Lady Catherine Beauclerk. (8)

Busts of Aubrey and Lady Catherine have been attributed to Christopher Hewetson (Christie's, 9 Jul. 1979). (9).

 In February 1779 Lady Catherine organised a raffle for the marble relief of Alcyone and Ceyx by Thomas Banks, (10) apparently to aid the sculptor on his return journey to England, see Banks.


The Beauclerks left Rome with the Irish painter Solomon Delane; they were in Germany by February 1781, (11) and reached England at the end of August. (12)

Their return may have been prompted by Baron Vere (who d. 2 October 1781) although, according to Lady Mary Coke, they had had no intention of returning while he was alive. (13)

 Thomas Brand remained abroad thinking it 'more proper not to arrive in England at the same time'. (13).

As 5th Duke of St Albans, Aubrey Beauclerk sold a large part of his collection on 8/9 June 1798 to finance the rebuilding of Hanworth; the sale catalogue described the works as 'collected during a long residence at Rome, and other parts of the Continent' and included marbles from Centocelle, a Farnese Hercules restored by Albacini, several bronzes by Zoffoli, and paintings by Marco Ricci, Marieschi, and Delane.

1. By Ldy. Mary Lowther, see Wal.Corr., 33:294n.

2. D. Adamson & P. Beauclerk, House of Nell Gwynn, 88—90.

3. Swinburne, Courts, 1:214.

4. Eg.2001, f.216 (7 Nov.


5. ASR ABA 12, f.290 (28 Sep. 1779), f.294. (11 Apr. 1780).

6. F. Russel, Burl. Mag.,

7. Knight Letters, 75, 79. Bankes MSS (H. Bankes, 14 Jul. 1779).

8. Byres MSS.

9. Hewetson 1986, 60.

10. Swinburne, Courts, 11234.

ll. Add.36493, f.128 (Irvine, 10 Feb. 1781).

12. Wal.Corr., 33:293n3.

13. Wal.Corr.,

Hewetson (Part 31) Two busts of Frederick Augustus Hervey (1730–1803), 4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry and his Granddaughter Lady Caroline Crichton.


The Two Marble Busts of Frederick Augustus Hervey (1730–1803), 

4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry. 

and his Granddaughter Lady Caroline Crichton.

1. The Marble Bust.

at National Trust, Ickworth House.

They say - A portrait bust of the 4th Earl of Bristol on a marble socle, probably made in Italy before the Bishop had succeeded as Earl of Bristol in 1779.

Images below from Art UK website.

Unfortunately not high resolution but suitable for our purposes.


2. The NPG bust of  Frederick Augustus Hervey (1730–1803), 4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry.

Here the eyes have been left without the pupils being carved but the shape and treatment of the socle and prop and the finish of the back of the bust are instructive.

The NPG website say possibly by Joseph Wilton but I see no reason for this attribution.

It has the same details as the NPG version below.

The profile of the turned socle and support for the prop on the back and the eyes with uncut pupils are the same.

A short note on the Bishop's capricious nature.

Lifted from Burning Bright; Essays in Honour of David Bindman. Pub. UCL Press. 2015.

The Earl-Bishop was a patron of Canova, Christopher Hewetson, John Flaxman and John Deare, among many others. His frequent refusal to come up with payment has been described by Brinsley Ford as ‘eccentric and capricious’.14 

In March 1778 Thomsas Banks completed in Rome a model of a Cupid which, the sculptor’s wife noted, ‘is universally lik’d, & is order’d in marble by the Bishop of Derry’. In November that year Mrs Banks wrote again: ‘the figure which the Reverend Father in God &c &c &c

had ordered of Mr. B — he return’d on his hands, when almost completed, (with the frivolous excuse of its being Improper for a Bishop to have a naked figure in his house)’.15 

Another work commissioned in marble by the Earl-Bishop was an oval relief that Banks abandoned unfinished. The sculptor fell into a ‘Continual Delirium’ in which he cursed the Earl-Bishop as the cause of his mental collapse. Months later Banks returned to England with the Cupid and, after showing it at the Royal Academy in 1781, took it to St Petersburg and sold it to Catherine the Great.

There is another version of this bust in the National Portrait Gallery (see image below).


Provenance - Mortlock, Meldreth Hall, Cambs, dealer Gerald Kerin, London, from whom purchased by the NPG in 1953.


Lady Caroline Crichton (sometimes spelt Creighton) b.1779.

Marble bust.


Inscribed Christoforus Hewetson Fecit.

Image from Christopher Hewetson, by Brian de Breffny, Irish Arts Review (1984-1987), Vol. 3, No. 3 (Autumn, 1986), pp.

Currently the best photographs I can locate.

The Granddaughter of Frederick Augustus Hervey.

Daughter of Mary Hervey (1753 - 1842) and John Crichton, the Earl of Erne (1738 - 1828).

They were married in 1776.

It was not a marriage made in heaven (see Ingamells). The Viscountess spent a great deal of time abroad and accompanied her father with her daughter Caroline to Italy in 1785. 

Mother and daughter resided in Rome for about 4 years from 1786 until 1790

Unknown until 1985, the bust was purchased at a sale conducted by Osborne, King and Megran at Gilford County Down.

Current whereabouts unknown - last heard of in a collection in Belfast.


Christopher Hewetson (Part 30). An Anonymous bust.


Christopher Hewetson (Part 30). An Anonymous Marble Bust.

The Image below from the Paul Mellon Picture Archive.

With London dealers Colnaghi in 1979.

Current whereabouts unknown.


Wednesday 28 February 2024

Hewetson (Part 29) Charles Townley

Post in preparation

Charles Townley (1737 - 1810.

Christopher Hewetson.

Marble Bust.

British Museum.

Sold by Christie's 8th June 1939, lot 80 from the collection of MH Townely, Third Lord O'Hagen.

These are the best photographs currently available from the BM. website.

Images below from -,_by_Christopher_Hewetson,_Rome,_1769_CE._Collector_and_Trustee_of_the_British_Museum._It_is_housed_in_the_British_Museum,_London.JPG

Hewetson (Part 28) John Campbell, 1st Baron Cawdor

John Campbell, 1st Baron Cawdor, FRS, FSA (c. 1753 - 1821).

Christopher Hewetson.

Marble bust.


This bust was probably at Gelli Aur (Golden Grove), Carmarthenshire.

Sotheby's, London, 4 December 2018, lot 108.

Essay here from Hampel's the auctioneers website -

Christopher Hewetson executed a bust of John Campbell when he first visited Rome in 1784. The first version is kept at Cawdor Castle in Nairnshire, Scotland (Roscoe, p. 611). This other almost identical version is characterized by the absence of the signature, but of similarly good quality. We know from Hewetson that he executed busts several times and then did not necessarily sign them, as is guaranteed for the bust of Pope Clement XIV. The marble bust of Mrs. von Kniphausen is also unsigned.

John Campbell, who later became the first Baron Cawdor of Castlemartin, was an Italophile and traveled to Italy several times in his life and became, for example, the first British patron of Antonio Canova. He ordered some of his most excellent works from the sculptor, such as “Cupido and Psyche” (Louvre, Paris, inv. no. MR 1777) or “Hebe” (Chatsworth, Trustees of the Devonshire Settlement).

By the early 19th century he was one of Britain's largest landowners, owning both the vast estates of Stackpole Court and Golden Grove in Wales and Cawdor Castle in Scotland. However, Campbell suffered from financial worries and in 1800 was forced to sell much of his art collection, including the Lante Vase, now in Woburn Abbey. 

Canova spoke of Campbell in a letter to Mengs in June 1787: “My head is still full of the good times that the Colonel [Campbell] gave me, God bless him, and I will never forget him, come what may. If it is true that friendship and gratitude can lift a man's spirits, then when I pick up my chisel to work for the colonel, I will work better than I have ever worked, and perhaps better than I will ever work for anyone else” (quoted in Davis, p. 50).

Campbell first visited Rome in 1784, and it is believed that Hewetson created the first version of his portrait at this time, as Campbell attended an event with Thomas Giffard, whose portrait was created the same year. In 1786-1787 he returned to Rome. It seems logical that Campbell could have commissioned the present bust on this second visit.


Tuesday 27 February 2024

Hewetson in Rome. (Part 27) Catherine Viscountess Sudley and the Anonymous Ashmolean Busts.

The two busts posted here for comparison.

18th Century English and Irish portrait sculpture is a much neglected with a few exceptions and unfashionable subject - part of the purpose of this blog is an attempt to correct that state of affairs and to inspire some enthusiasm for the subject.

When are we going to see the works of Nollekens, Wilton, Bacon and Hewetson celebrated.

It seems incredible to me that the wonderful pair of  busts in the Ashmolean have remained in plain sight but unconsidered for so long, with an attribution to a third rate 18th century Italian sculptor.

 Catherine, Viscountess Sudely (1739 - 1770).

Marble bust.

Christopher Hewetson carved c.1767 - 9.

The Christies/ Arran Bust.

Christie's, London 4th December 2019, Lot 260.

Formerly Coll. Earl of Arran - Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain... Yale 2009.

 Catherine, Viscountess Sudley (1739-1770).

Christopher Hewetson. (1737-1799).

Carved in Rome, Circa 1767-9.

Marble bust; signed to the reverse 'Christophus Hewetson. fect - 


on a circular marble socle and a later square marble pedestal.

24 ¼ in. (62 cm.) high, overall (this needs to be confirmed). 


 By descent from the sitter to the 6th Earl of Arran (1868-1958).

Christie's, London, 11 December 1984, lot 19, where acquired by the present owner.

Its current whereabouts are unknown.

Literature. -


B. De Breffny, ‘Christopher Hewetson, a Preliminary Catalogue Raisonné’, Irish Arts Review, vol. 111, 1986, pp. 52-75, no. 26.

I. Roscoe, et. al., A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660-1851, London, 2009, p. 610, no. 7.

Christie's Lot Essay.

The sitter, Catherine Annesley, daughter of William, 1st Viscount Glerawly, married Arthur Gore, Viscount Sudley, in 1760. 

The couple embarked on a Grand Tour in Italy together from 1767, and Horace Walpole noted that Gore had been invited to dinner by Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor in Florence that year. 

By 1769 the couple had reached Rome, where they commissioned Pompeo Batoni to paint their joint portrait (Christie's, London, 5 July 2018, lot 55). 

The portrait bust by Hewetson must have been executed between 1767 and 1769, and is therefore Hewetson's earliest known work in Italy.


The Following photographs are taken from the online Paul Mellon Photographic Archive.

This is a fantastic resource which has only recently appeared on line.


The Ashmolean Bust.

One of a pair.


The Ashmolean bust are currently labelled Lord Fermor by Guelphi.

It is remotely possible that these busts represent. Other Hickman Windsor, Lord Plymouth. and his wife Sarah nee Archer.

The Marble Busts.

If this bust is of Lord Plymouth then it is an idealised bust by the 1790's Plymouth was ill, probably clinically obese and losing his eyesight. Hewetson certainly carved other idealised or posthumous busts such as Count Potocki.- see my blog post -


The Pair of Anonymous Marble Busts of (probably not) Thomas Fermor, 2nd Lord Lempster, Earl of Pomfret, and his Wife Henrietta Louisa, at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Still labelled attributed to Guelphi.

Here tentatively suggested as by Christopher Hewetson (sometimes Houston, Huston).

This pair of very fine busts have always bothered me since the time I first saw them many years ago - they are obviously not by the execrable Guephi (Guelfi) (1690 - 1736) but the subjects and the sculptor have remained elusive to me.

I don't believe that these busts represent the Fermors.

I shouldn't be too unkind to poor Guelphi - he executed a couple of fine terracottas but working in marble was not his forte. He had a particular problem with executing necks.

He was described by a critic in Michaelis as a "shallow botcher".

For his description of the Arundel Marbles see -

This pair of busts have in the past been attributed to Guelphi - but the quality of these busts is so good that they could not possibly have been by him. 

The main reason for this attribution (by Nicholas Penny in Ashmolean (III) 1992, p. 96 Cat Nos 516 and 517) would appear to be the fact that Guelphi had been employed at the Fermor family country seat at Easton Neston, Northamptonshire, restoring - some would say butchering the ancient Arundel Marbles.

Malcolm Baker has since suggested in 1994 that they were made by a later sculptor such as Joseph Wilton, (Baker.1994).

For the known bust by Guelphi see my post -

Whilst I cannot pretend to be an expert, the style of the clothing and the hair would appear to be later than the 1720/30's and most likely 1760/70's.

Given that  busts of Lord and Lady Plymouth, finished and paid for, were still in the studio of Hewetson when he died and that they have remained untraced it seemed possible, that if it is accepted that the Ashmolean busts are by Christopher Hewetson then they might be identified as the Ashmolean busts.

But I continue to have doubts about this hypothesis.

The fifth Earl of Plymouth and his wife Sarah Hickman Windsor, nee Archer, Countess of Plymouth, were friends of William Pitt Amherst while he was in Rome. 

After the Earl's death, the sitter married Amherst and became Lady Amherst in 1800. There is a portrait of her painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), which is now in the Amherst College Collection at the Mead Art Gallery. This portrait miniature, as well as those of Elizabeth Carey Amherst, Elizabeth Frances Hale and William Pitt Amherst, are all part of a large collection of family portraits acquired from a descendant of the Hale family. 

The fifth Earl of Plymouth and his wife Sarah Hickman Windsor, nee Archer, Countess of Plymouth, were friends of William Pitt Amherst while he was in Rome. 

After the Earl's death, the sitter married Amherst and became Lady Amherst in 1800. There is a portrait of her painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), which is now in the Amherst College Collection at the Mead Art Gallery. This portrait miniature, as well as those of Elizabeth Carey Amherst, Elizabeth Frances Hale and William Pitt Amherst, are all part of a large collection of family portraits acquired from a descendant of the Hale family. /


Portrait of Sarah Lady Plymouth nee Archer (1762 - 1838).

Her first husband Lord Plymouth died in 1799 and she remarried to William Pitt Amherst 24 July 1800 she then became the Countess of Amherst.

Sir Thomas Lawrence. 


She would have been aged 42 when this portrait was painted.

Image courtesy -


A Portrait Miniature of Sarah, Lady Plymouth.

After the Earl's death, the sitter married Amherst and became Lady Amherst in 1800. There is a portrait of her painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), which is now in the Amherst College Collection at the Mead Art Gallery. This portrait miniature, as well as those of Elizabeth Carey Amherst, Elizabeth Frances Hale and William Pitt Amherst, are all part of a large collection of family portraits acquired from a descendant of the Hale family. /

If indeed this is Sarah Lady Plymouth it must be a very early miniature.

I have my doubts.


Other Hickman Windsor (1751 - 99).

Finished Busts of Lord and Lady Plymouth are recorded on an inventory taken of the contents of the studio by Albacino and Pacetti after the death of Hewetson in 1799. see -

The studio contents list was compiled from - 

Christopher Hewetson: Nuovi Documenti, Nuove Interprezioni. by Paolo Coen, 2012, in "Bollettino d'arte"

Will and Inventory of Christopher Hewetson (c1737–1798): Introduction - Ana María Suárez Huerta.The British Art Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Winter 2014/15), pp. 3-17.



Lord Plymouth married Sarah Archer (1762 -1838) daughter of Andrew Archer, 2nd Baron Archer in 1788.

If this bust is Lady Plymouth and was carved from life in the 1790's she would have been aged about 32.

The fifth Earl of Plymouth and his wife Sarah Hickman Windsor, Countess of Plymouth, were friends of William Pitt Amherst while he was in Rome. 

After the Earl's death, the sitter married Amherst and became Lady Amherst in 1800. 

Other Hickman Windsor (1751 - 99)

married Sarah Archer (1762 -38) daughter of Andrew Archer, 2nd Baron Archer in 1788.

Styled Lord Windsor from birth, he was the eldest son of Other Windsor, 4th Earl of Plymouth and the Honourable Catherine, daughter of Thomas Archer, 1st Baron Archer. [1] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 22 April 1773. He was Colonel of the Glamorganshire Militia, 6 August 1779.

The next section is lifted almost in its entirety from A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy, 1701 to 1800..... Edited byJohn Ingamells pub Yale 1995 .....

Lord Plymouth, succinctly described by Patrick Home as 'A fine Fat round English Lord. Loves Eat', made a brief tour of Italy in 1772, immediately after his succession as 5th Earl, with his governor Dillon, 'a Swiss — Well bred' (again according to Home).(l).

He was in Florence in January and February, 'the most sweet tempered fat body I ever knew', said Horace Mann; 'his indolence already makes him prefer a bed and an elbow chair to all other amusements'.(2).

In Rome he sat to Batoni  (Clark/Bowron 348; private collection), the portrait being seen in Batoni's studio on 30 April, (1).

Johann Zoffany whilst in Florence included him in his painting the Tribuna at the Ufizzi (now in Windsor Castle). (Plymouth is third from the left.

Plymouth was seen in Naples in the summer and again in Florence by 13 June.(3)

He arrived in Venice with 'Giuseppe Dilon' on 16 September,4 and was back in London to take his seat in the Lords by February.

Lord Plymouth married his first cousin the Honourable Sarah, daughter of Andrew Archer, 2nd Baron Archer, on 20 May 1778.

He returned to Italy in 1791 with his wife, Sarah, and two children, Lord Windsor later 6th Earl (1789 – 1833) and Lady Maria (1790 – 1855).

They appear to have stayed for five years, principally in Rome and Naples.

Lord Plymouth was not in good health.

They arrived in Rome in November 1791,6 and were in Naples by February 1792, when Lady Plymouth was one of the English ladies with whom Prince Augustus was consorting? (the others being Lady Malmesbury and Mrs Heneage Legge).(7)

 In January 1793 Lady Palmerston described Lady Plymouth as good humoured, unaffected and pleasant (8.)

The more remarkable as her husband's health and sight were both declining. She gave a ball at Naples 9 March 1793 (9) and on the 16th of April she received a slim volume, Figure Originale, from Carlo Labruzzi (coll.Brinsley Ford).

According to Lady Webster (who was a close friend) Lord Berwick had become very attached to Lady Plymouth by May 1793, but early in 1794 he was treating her with disrespect. (10)

 In January 1794 in the course of a smallpox epidemic in Naples, 'to which 7,000 infants have fallen victims', one of Plymouths' infant boys died. (11)

Lady Plymouth was back in Rome by March 1794, when Angelica Kauffman painted the two children. (12)

 On 6 July 1794 it was reported from Rome that though Lady Plymouth had lost a son, she was in a fair way of replacing him soon; her husband however, was 'in a very bad way, for he is very near blind, and his legs are so swelled that it is thought he is going into a dropsy'. (13)

Lady Plymouth held a ball for Prince Augustus in Rome in February 1795, at which the assembly (and in particular Robert Fagan) did not measure up to Lady Knight's proper expectations. (14)

During the summer they were at Bologna where, Lady Knight recorded.

Lady Plymouth next attracted marked attention from William Pitt Amherst; 'Mr Amherst does all the leading honours to the lady, but I hear, fears his honoured uncle [whose title he would inherit] should know it'. (15)

They were again in Rome in August 1795 with Colonel Dillon, Amherst and the Prince as the 'only English society'. (16)

By December they but had moved to Naples, where it was reported that Lord Plymouth was 'almost blind and but small hopes are entertained of his eye-sight being restored; the conjugal attachment and attention of his amiable lady is the subject of general conversation'. (17)

Then Amherst 'was still at Anchor at Plymouth' and, she continued, 'if Ld P's eyes begin to open perhaps he may be surprised to see her Ladyship's shape so enlarged', (18)

Reading between the lines here suggests to me that Lord Plymouth might not have been the father of their second daughter.

Shortly afterwards the Plymouths returned to England, passing through Padua on 30 March en route for Venice. (19).


Their second daughter Harriet (1797 - 1867) was christened in London in September 1797. Lord Plymouth died aged 48 on 12 June 1799, and Lady Plymouth married Amherst on 24 July 1800.


l. Home Journal,  Mss.

2. Walpole Corr., 23-378 (4 Feb. 1772).

3. Gazz. Tosc Cotes Journal. Mss.

4. ASV is 759.

5. Winchilsea letters MSS. (16 Feb. 1773).

6. Add.39780, f.55 (Mrs Flaxman, 21 Nov. 1791).

7. Fothergill 1969, p.259.

8. Connell 1957, 275.

9. Parker JournaI. MSS.

10, Holland Journal 1:29, 123.

11. Ibid., 113.

12. Kauffman, 1924, 166, 177.

13. The Oracle, 21 Jul. 1794.

14. Knight Letters, 206—7,

15. Knight Letters, 211 (26 Dec. 1795).

16. Attingham MSS (Ldy. Plymouth, 30 Aug. 1795).

17. Morning Chronicle, 10 Jan. 1796 (Naples, 5 Dec. 1795).

18. Attingham MSS (23 Feb, 1796).

19. ASV is 783.