Wednesday 31 January 2024

Christopher Hewetson Irish Sculptor in Rome (Part 2).


(Post under construction).

Christopher Hewetson, an Irish Sculptor in Rome (Part 2).


An Anonymous Marble Bust inscribed Hewetson Fecit. and three further busts

Ardress House, County Armagh, National Trust, Norther Ireland.

website essay by Jeremy Warren.

This is one of a group of four busts which in the past were thought to represent the four seasons. 

They were acquired in Italy in 1894.


Marble Bust


This bust has been attributed to Hewetson

625 x 410 x 240 mm.

Photographs at Ardress House © National Trust / Bryan Rutledge.

The sculpture is a copy of the head and bust section of a full-length sculpture of Melpomene, the Greek and Roman Muse of Tragedy, in the Vatican Museums in Rome (Inv. 299). The original was one of a group of sculptures discovered near Tivoli in 1774 which, after substantial restoration in some cases, was installed in 1784 in the Vatican in the Hall of the Muses. The nine Muses were female followers of Apollo, god of the arts, each muse representing one branch of drama, music or literature.


With her plump face and wreath of grapes and vine leaves, the bust of Melpomene quite closely resembles depictions of the god of wine Bacchus, who quite often is found in art as an allegory for the season of Autumn, hence the re-use of the sculpture here as a representation of that season. It is one of four busts of females at Ardress (NT 247725.1-4) set in niches on the Garden Front of the house, which was redesigned by the second George Ensor (1772-1845). 

He may be presumed to have acquired the busts and to have installed them as part of the remodelling, but it is not known when and from where they came into his possession. They have long been presented as allegories of the Seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, and all four have hitherto been attributed to Christopher Hewetson, although in fact only the sculpture described as ‘Autumn’ (NT.24775.4) is signed by him.

The Bust of Melpomene.

attributed to Christopher Hewetspn

Although it is unsigned, it is possible that the Melpomene is also a work of Hewetson’s studio. The inventory of the contents of the studio, drawn up following the sculptor’s death on 15 November 1798, included among a substantial number of copies after the Antique, a bust of Melpomene after the Vatican statue, described in detail: ‘A copy in marble of the head of Melpomene, copied from the statue of that subject in the Clementine Museum, without a pedestal and unfinished. Valued at 55 scudi’ (‘Una copia in marmo della testa di Melpomene copiata dà quella del Clementino Museo, senza pieduccio e non terminata. Si valuta scudi cinquantacinque.’). 

The Melpomene is indeed mounted on a socle of quite different marble from the other busts at Ardress, which might suggest it was the copy made by Hewetson, as does also the rarity of copies of the head of the Vatican statue. 

Described in the Hewetson inventory as unfinished, it would presumably have been completed by one of Hewetson’s assistants, perhaps Cristoforo Prosperi, who is known to have finished the portrait bust of Sir John Courtenay Throckmorton, 5th Bt (1754-1819) at Coughton Court (NT 135688). 

Hewetson seems to have had a particular interest in the figure of Melpomene, since the inventory also included a small-scale copy of the whole statue (Coen 2012, pp. 96-97; Suárez Huerta 2014, p. 14)

References -

Coen 2012: Paolo Coen, ‘Christopher Hewetson: Nuovi documenti, nuove interpretazioni’, Bollettino d’Arte, 7th.Series, no. 15 (2012), pp. 87-100, p. 97.

Suárez Huerta 2014: Ana María Suárez Huerta, ‘Will and Inventory of Christopher Hewetson (c1737–1798)’, The British Art Journal, 15, no. 2 (2014), pp. 3-17, P. 7


An Anonymous female bust.

Christopher Hewetson.

Inscribed by Hewetson.

At the time of writing I think that this is perhaps either the bust of Hon. Sarah Archer (1762-1838), Countess of Plymouth & Countess Amherst of Arracan or of Lady Agnes Carnegie (1763-1860).

We know that busts of both of these women were in the studio of Hewetson when he died.

see -

(Sarah Archer was the daughter of Andrew Archer, 2nd Lord Archer, Baron of Umberslade and his wife, Sarah West. 

She married her first cousin, Other Hickman Windsor, 5th Earl of Plymouth FRS (1751-1799) on 20 May 1778 and the couple had three children: Other Archer, 6th Earl of Plymouth (1789-1833), Maria (1790-1855) and Harriet (1797-1869). 

After Lord Plymouth's death, Sarah married William Pitt Amherst, 1st Earl Amherst of Arracan (1773-1857) and son of Lt.Gen. William Amherst and Elizabeth Paterson, on 24 July 1800 at St. George's Church, Hanover Square in London. 

The couple had four children: Sarah Elizabeth (1801-1876), Jeffrey (1802-1826), William, 2nd Earl Amherst (1805-1886) and Frederick Campbell (1807-1829). Sarah died aged 75 at 66 Grosvenor Street, London and was buried on 5 June 1838 at Riverhead, Sevenoaks in Kent).



Photographs above - Ardress House © National Trust / Bryan Rutledge.

The Anonymous Female Bust.

Christopher Hewetson.

National Trust.

Ardress House County, Armagh.

The website essay

The sculpture is one of four busts of females at Ardress (NT 247725.1-4) set in niches on the Garden Front of the house, which was redesigned by the second George Ensor (1772-1845). He may be presumed to have acquired the busts and to have installed them as part of the remodelling, but it is not known when and from where they came into his possession. 

They have long been presented as allegories of the Seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, and all four have hitherto been attributed to Christopher Hewetson, although in fact only the present sculpture is signed by him.

This beautiful sculpture clearly originated as a portrait of an unknown woman and, as such, has nothing to do with the season of Spring. Appreciation of its qualities has hitherto been obscured by its being considered a generalised allegorical work, lumped together with three other quite different sculptures. 

It is tempting to try to identify this strongly characterised individual with one of the portrait busts of female sitters that Hewetson is known to have made in the course of his career. 

His portraits of women are much rarer than those of men. They include unlocated and undescribed portraits of Emma, Lady Hamilton (1765-1815; Breffny 1986, no. 12), which it is known had not been paid for at the time of Hewetson’s death, and one of the painter Angelica Kauffmann (1741-1807; Breffny 1986, no. 14).

Neither of these well-known females would seem to be the sitter in the marble bust. 

After his death on 15 November 1798, an inventory was made of the contents of Hewetson’s workshop, including a number of portrait busts, mostly of British sitters, in various stages of completion. 

The two female sitters within this group were, firstly, 'Lady Carneghi’, presumably Agnes Murray Elliot (1763-1860), wife of the Scottish politician Sir David Carnegie (1753-1805) (Coen 2012, p. 97; Suárez Huerta 2014, p. 8, no. 3), 

Secondly ‘Miledy Plymouth’, the bust described as finished (‘compito’. Coen 2012, p. 98; Suárez Huerta 2014, p. 10, no. 14)This must have been Sarah Windsor, Countess of Plymouth (1762–1838), the botanist and naturalist who became Countess Amhurst through her second marriage. Both women would have been in the their mid-thirties when they were being modelled by Christopher Hewetson, which would seem to correspond to the age of the sitter in the Ardress bust.

All fourteen of the modern busts listed in the inventory had already been paid for, so it might seem improbable that they were not all sent to the person who had commissioned them, as indeed happened with the bust of Sir John Throckmorton, discussed below. 

However, an argument for the possible identification of the Ardress portrait as one of the busts in Hewetson’s studio at the time of his death is the form of the signature, ‘HEWETSON FECIT’ ('Hewetson made this’). Hewetson invariably included some form of his first name Christopher in his other recorded signatures, so this might imply the signature was added after the sculptor’s death, by a member of his workshop. 

Christopher Hewetson’s principal assistant at the time of his death was the sculptor Cristoforo Prosperi, also named by Hewetson as the main beneficiary of his will. 

The portrait bust of Sir John Courtenay Throckmorton, 5th Bt (1754-1819) at Coughton Court (NT 135688) is also among the fourteen modern portrait busts in the inventory (Coen 2012, p. 97; Suárez Huerta 2014, p. 8, no. 2), described as two thirds completed , the inscription applied to the bust in 1800 confirming that it was finished by Prosperi. 

It is on an identical entablature and socle to the portrait of a woman at Ardress. It is also possible that another of the busts at Ardress, the ‘allegory of Autumn’, in fact a copy after a figure of the Muse Melpemone (NT 247725.2) was also in Hewetson’s workshop at the time of his death.


The Third Bust at Ardress - certainly not by Hewetson.


Saturday 27 January 2024

A Pair of Late 18th Century Busts by Christopher Hewetson at the Ashmolean Possibly. (Part 1).

(Post under construction). 

Christopher Hewetson (1737 - 99) an Irish Sculptor in Rome.

Working in Rome from 1765 - 99.

Part 1.

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.

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

For a list of the works of Hewetson see my post -

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

I now don't believe that these busts represent the Fermors and think that it is time for their serious reassessment. 

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.

This pair of busts have in the past been attributed to Guelphi - but the quality of these busts is so good that i now believe that they could not possibly have been executed 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 1996 that they were made by a later sculptor such as Joseph Wilton 1988).

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.

I have included below for comparison photographs of the five busts from Queen Caroline's Hermitage at Richmond Park known to be by Guelphi.


There is no mention of the Ashmolean busts in the correspondence of the Countess which suggests that if they are Thomas and Henrietta (and I suspect not) they were probably not made by an Italian sculptor whilst the Fermor's were on their grand tour but by a later sculptor probably 1760/70's.

If on the other hand the subjects are not the Fermors but another couple then it is much more likely that these busts were made in Italy (see below).

I humbly suggest that they were perhaps sculpted by Christopher Hewetson (1737 - 99).
probably early 1770's

Hewetson was a probably former pupil /assistant of John van Nost III (this needs to be confirmed!), Hewetson was working in Rome from 1765 until his death in 1799. 

Evidence is needed for the van Nost connection.


The Physical Evidence.

The turned coloured marble socles of the Ashmolean busts have a very similar profile and detail to the socles and to the support to the props on the back of the busts of Charles Townley, Catherine, Viscountess Sudely, Charles Townley and others illustrated below and in later posts.

The fact that these turned socles are in a coloured marble also suggests perhaps a continental origin.

Hewetson seems not to have used the square bases on his socles, used in English portrait busts in the mid 18th century.

The cutting of the pupils of the eyes on the bust of Catherine, Viscountess Sudely and various other Hewtson busts are also very similar to the cutting of the eyes of the Ashmolean busts.

The backs of the busts all have similar fairly deeply recessed backs with a supporting prop, somewhat roughly finished with a claw chisel.


A Selection of the Available Hewetson Literature.

Royal Dublin Society Library, Dublin, The Society Minute book 1758–61, 10; see Dictionary of Irish Art, Strickland 1913; Mentions John Crawley assistant to John van Nost going away (to Italy) but probably too early for Hewetson.

Available on line at - · RDS

Terence Hodgkinson, ‘Christopher Hewetson, an Irish sculptor in Rome’, Walpole Society, xxxiv (1952–4). An excellent starting point.

Christopher Hewetson, by Brian de Breffny, Irish Arts Review (1984-1987), Vol. 3, No. 3 (Autumn, 1986), pp. An updating of  Hodgkinson.

K. A. Esdaile, Christopher Hewetson and His Monument to Dr. Baldwin in Trinity College, Dublin -The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. 77, No. 2 (Dec., 1947).

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.

A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701 -1800. John Ingamells. Pub Yale. 1997.


The next two are invaluable for an overview of Art and Artists in Rome in the Late 18th Century 

Grand Tour, The Lure of Italy in the Eighteenth Century. Exhibition Catalogue, Andrew Wilton and Ilaria Bignamini, Pub Tate. 1996.

Art in Rome in the Eighteenth Century. Ed. Bowron and Rishel. Pub Philadelphia Museum of Art. 2000.


Of Tangential Interest - a complete family history.

The Hewetsons of the County Kilkenny, John Hewetson - The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Fifth Series, Vol. 39, No. 4, [Fifth Series, Vol. 19] (Dec. 31, 1909), 


The Anonymous Ashmolean Busts.

Photographs taken by the author.

For the Ashmolean website entries see -

Lord Pomfret died 8 July 1753, and was succeeded by his eldest son, George. 

This son's extravagance obliged him to sell the furniture and objects from the family seat at Easton Neston, Northamptonshire. 

His statues, which had been part of the Arundel Collection, and had been purchased by his grandfather, were bought by his mother for presentation to Oxford University (now in the Ashmolean). A letter of thanks, enclosed in a silver box, was presented to her by the university, 25 February 1755, and a poem in her honour was published at Oxford in the following year.

 The Bust at the Ashmolean described as Henrietta Louisa Fermor, nee Jeffreys, Countess of Pomfret. (1698 - 1761) by Guelfi.

Here tentatively attributed to Christopher Hewetson.


Henrietta Louisa Fermor, nee Jeffreys, Countess of Pomfret.

Attributed to Thomas Bardwell.

Images above from Titan Fine Art.


Thomas Bardwell (1704 - 67).
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
Oil on canvas; 216 x 124 cm
Signed: T Bardwell.f. and inscribed: Thomas Farmor, Earl of Pomfret, and Henrietta Louisa Jeffreys, his Wife.
Presented by the Countess of Pomfret, 1759
Thomas Fermor succeeded as 2nd Baron Leominster in 1711 and was created Earl of Pomfret in 1721. He was Master of Horse to Queen Caroline from 1727 to 1737. He married Henrietta Louisa Jeffreys (1703-1761) in 1720.
This portrait of the couple in peer's robes may have been painted to commemorate thirty years of married life and the parchment he is handing to her would have been the marriage settlement.
After the death of her husband, Lady Pomfret bought the celebrated Arundel marbles from her dissolute son George before he could disperse them and presented them to the University of Oxford in 1755.
Around 1757, she built a large town house in Arlington Street, designed by Sanderson Miller in the Gothic style. The frame was designed for Pomfret House.


Catherine, Viscountess Sudely (1739 - 1770).

Marble bust

Christopher Hewetson carved 1767 - 9.

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 - 

CATHERINE VISCOUNTESS SUDLEY -'; 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.



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 they had reached Rome, where they commissioned 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.


Charles Townley.

British Museum.

Included here for comparison.

see my later post -

Crop showing the treatment of the pupils of the eyes.


Mrs Martha Swinburne.

Cast after Hewetson by Luigi Valadier.


Lotherton Hall.

Photograph by Richard Avery from Wikimedia.

The profile of the coloured marble socles of the Swinburne busts should again be noted. 


The Art Institute of Chicago Bronze version of Martha Swinburne.

Christopher Hewetson.

Cast and inscribed by Luigi Valadier.


Portrait of Henry Swinburne.

by Pompeo Batoni.


Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle.

As far as I know the companion portrait of his wife also dated 1779 is in the private collection of Sir Hugo Boothby at Fonmon Castle (in 1971).


The Lotherton Hall bust of Sir Thomas Gascoigne (1745 - 1810).

Christopher Hewetson

Cast by Luigi Valadier.


Another version at Lotherton Hall, Yorkshire.


The Victoria and Albert Museum Bronze bust of Sir Thomas Gascoigne.



Sir Thomas Gascoigne with the busts of his friends Henry and Martha Swinburne (1747 - 1809).

Portrait by Pompeo Batoni.

Dated 1779.

Lotherton Hall. Yorkshire.

Photograph by Richard Avery - Wikimedia.

For the relationship between Sir Thomas Gascoigne and the Swinburnes see - Catholicism, Identity and Politics in the Age of Enlightenment: The Life and ...

By Alexander Lock

It has been suggested that these busts are terracotta models for the bronze busts but equally they could be missing marbles - either way they remain to be rediscovered.


Luigi Gonzaga di Castigleone.



Museo di Roma, Palazzo Braschi.

Formerly in the Roman Academy known as the Arcadia.

NB. The treatment of the Pupils.


Bust of the poet Maria Maddalena Morelli Fernandez (1727 - 1800).

sometime lover of Luigi Gonzaga.

Inscribed Coreyllae Etruscae Sapphus Aemula Christoph. Hewetson Hiburnus Sculp d MDCCLXXVI.

Museo di Roma, Palazzo Braschi.

Formerly in the Roman Academy known as Arcadia.

Christopher Hewetson.




The Portrait Busts by Giovanni Battista Guelphi.

Five busts originally made for Queen Caroline's Hermitage at Richmond. 1731/2.

I suspect that the socles and supports with the carved inscriptions are 19th century replacements.

For more on the Hermitage at Richmond see my post

Pictured here to illustrate the limits of Guelphi's talent.

Marble Bust of John Locke (1632 - 1704) by Giovanni Battista Guelphi (1690 - 1736).

Royal Collection Trust / © HM Queen Elizabeth II, 2015.

The back of the Royal Collection bust of Locke by Guelphi to illustrate his treatment of the backs.


Marble Bust of Isaac Newton (1643 - 1727) by Giovanni Battista Guelphi (1690 - 1736).

Royal Collection Trust / © HM Queen Elizabeth II, 2015.


Marble bust of Samuel Clarke, DD, (1675 - 1729) 

by Giovanni Battista Guelphi (1690 - 1736).

Royal Collection Trust / © HM Queen Elizabeth II, 2015.


Marble Bust of Robert Boyle (1627 - 1691) by Giovanni Battista Guelphi (1690 - 1736).

Royal Collection Trust / © HM Queen Elizabeth II, 2015.


William Wollaston.

by Giovanni Battista Guelphi (1690 - 1736).

Royal Collection


see The Sculpture Journal (Vol. 17, Issue 1). Gordon Balderstone:-

Guelphi - An Italian sculptor, he spent a long period in England where he enjoyed the protection of Lord Burlington, the ‘architect earl’ for about 14 years.

Guelphi worked in Rome in the workshop of Camillo Rusconi (1658  -1728), lived in Rome with his brother Carlo from 1714 until 1720 (at the Casa della Monache di Milano from 1716). 

John Bridges (notes for History of Northamptonshire in the Bodleian Library) met Guelphi at Easton Neston on 18 July 1721 and describes him in his notes as from Bergamo, Lombardy.
info - Giometti - The Sculpture Journal  (see below).

George Vertue’s short account of the sculptor in 1734, which suggests an irritation with the Italian’s imperious manners, provides the best insights into the English phase of his career.

'Signor Guelphi. Statuary. Sometime wrought under Cavalier Rusconi. Statuary of great reputation at Rome, from thence Lord Burlington encouraged. or brought him to England. he was sometime at Ld Pomfrets Eston Northampt imployed. repairing the Antique Statues. Arundel Collect. Afterwards Guelphi was much employed for many years. by Lord Burlington. in his house in London. & made many statues for his villa at Chiswick. being much continually almost employed bty him for several years. also several busts. he much commended him to the Nobility for an excellent sculptor. procured him many works to that of the Monument of Sec Craggs Westmint Abbey. he left England in 1734. after residing near 20 years. went to Bologna. a man of slow speech much opinionated. and as an Italian thought nobody could be equal to himself. in skill in this Country. yet all his works seem to the judicious very often defective. wanting spirit and grace. its thought that Ld Burlington parted him very willingly'. (my italics).

By the 4th August 1732 these busts had been placed inside the hermitage and suitable inscriptions were being sought as the Gentleman's Magazine had reported -

'Her Majesty having built a fine grotto at Richmond and adorned it with bustos Mr Locke, Sr Isaac Newton, Mr Woolaston an Dr Clark: it has been recommended to all the fine genii of two universities, and the schools of Eton and Winchester, and all the learned to compose a proper Latin inscription'.

The London Journal 26 August 1732 reports -
' The grotto or hermitage which her Majesty hath made at Richmond or, rather the bustoe's with which she has adorned that little rural temple, sacred to learning and virtue doth not reflect more honour on the memories of the deeds than glory on herself: for Locke, Newton, Clarke and Woolaston, were the glory of their country: they stampt a dignity on human nature: they were all well skilld in those arts which naturally tend to improve and exalt the mind, mend the heart or reform the life.

27th January 1733 The Weekly Miscellany published
'With inward grace more polite
The vaulted dome attracts the sight
Where as in disputation stand
For worthies from the sculptors hand
The chisel has such justice done
They reason and confute in stone'.

In February 1743 the bust of Boyle was set up in the place of honour, on a pedestal designed by William Kent in front of a golden sun, in the exedra in the Hermitage.

Sylvanus Urban pen name of Edward Cave (1691 - 1754) editor of the Gentleman's Magazine, April 1733, wrote,

'The 4 busts so often mentioned stand in niches at each quarter in the walls of the vaulted dome... but the bust of Mr Boyle stands higher than these on a pedestal, in the inmost and as it were the most sacred recess of the place; behind his head a large golden sun, darting his wide spreading beams all about and towards the others, to whom his aspect is directed. To the dome is an iron door by which you enter, on each side of it an apartment to which are iron rails; and each of these compartments is capable of receiving more busts'.

Edward Curll in The Rareties of Richmond: being exact description of the Royal Hermitage  and Merlins Cave...... 2nd edition 1736, describes entering the Hermitage -

' The entrance to this pile is adorned with a range of iron palisades finely gilt. A person attends to open the gate to all comers Upon entering you behold elevated on high, a very curious busto of the Honourable, and justly celebrated Robert Boyle Esq; incompassed with rays of gold And on each side of him below are Sir Isaac Newton, Mr Locke, Dr Clarke and Mr Woolaston....'

It was believed for a long time that the busts were by Rysbrack but Balderstone finally puts the argument to rest.

George Virtue had quoted in his manuscripts a statement to that effect by William Arnall who had published it in the Free Briton - it is firmly refuted in the Grub Street Journal Thursday 6th September 1733.

' an indigested heap of fly blown tautologies... there are several historical mistakes, and one egregious blunder which overturns his whole panegyric, and entirely destroys the reputation of his judgement in the art of statuary. For, in order to do honour to Mr Rysbrack, he has attributed to him
the bustos in her majesty's grotto; which unfortunately happen to be the work of another, and as some think a much inferior hand', (my italics).

So that clears that up!

Jonathan Swift Wrote on the Hermitage -

A place there  is, t'was purchased cheap
Thanks, Ormond, thy undoing
And there  they  build a mind heap
For all they build is Ruin!
Three holes there  are, thro which you see
Three seats  to set your Arse on
And idols four-, of wizards three
And one unchristian parson
in praise of Clarke (observe  the  joke!  )
writes ev'ry bard and gown
And Locke's the theme of courtly folk
who loved nor court nor crown.


Monument to Anne Brudenell, Duchess of Richmond.

Image courtesy Paul Mellon Photographic Archive.


Some further busts by Hewetson


Sir John Henderson 5th Baronet of Fordell.


Museo de la Real Academia Bellas Artes San Fernando, Madrid.

From the Captured English Ship The Westmorland.

see my post


Some English Sculptors working in Rome in the 2nd half of the 18th Century.

 Among the English sculptors working in Rome were Joseph Wilton (1722 - 1803), Francis Harwood (1727 - 83), Joseph Nollekens (1737 - 1823), Thomas Banks (1735 -1805), John Deare and Christopher Hewetson (1737 - 99). 


Joseph Wilton in Rome.

The style of these busts (particularly the hairstyle of the lady suggests to me that they are perhaps too late for Wilton, who was in Rome from 1749 - 55.

Joseph Wilton in Rome 1749 - 55.

For notes and photographs of  Joseph Wilton's works  see - probably not Wilton.

A Monument with bust. 

The Fragmentary head of George III, Montreal.

Francis Harwood in Rome.

Francis Harwood spent over 30 years in Italy. He was in Rome in 1752 and is reported living with Simon Vierpyl and Joshua Reynolds at Easter of 1752 in the Palazzo Zuccari. He was working with Wilton in Florence in 1755 and spent the rest of his life working in Florence. I have touched on him in my posts -

Joseph Nollekens in Rome.

Joseph Nollekens spent nine years in Rome arriving 11 August 1761. In 1764 he was working for Cavaceppi. He left Italy in October of 1770. As well as being an excellent sculptor - particularly of portrait busts he was a very astute businessman. Nollekens deserves a stand alone biography.
I have touched briefly on his works see -

Marble busts of Pope (a copy of the Milton/Fitzwilliam bust, paired with Lawrence Sterne by Nollekens in the Met. NY.

 Nollekens, the bust of George III, at the Royal Society.

The Three plaster busts of Lord Mansfield - One perhaps after Rysbrack – Nollekens, a plaster bust by Sarti.


Thomas Banks in Rome.

Some brief notes.

Banks deserves a modern biography - 

Thomas Banks and his wife were in Italy from 1772 -79. For the first three years he was supported by the scholarship from the Royal Academy and the next four years at his own expense

1777/78 the family lived with painter James Durno (1745 - 95) who had arrived in Rome in June 1774, in the Stalla di Mignanelli, near the Piazza di Spagna.

He was treated very shoddily by Frederick Hervey, the Earl Bishop of Derry - who commissioned Cupid catching a butterfly on his wing and then reneged on the deal it was eventually sold to the Empress of Russia, and George Grenville, later the Marquis of Buckingham refused to pay 200 guineas for a relief of Caractacus before Claudius and offered only 100 guineas.

He was seriously ill in 1779. In order for him to return to England Lady Catherine Beauclerk (later Duchess of St Albans (her bust and her husbands were made by Hewetson) organised a raffle for his Alcyone - it was won by Henry Swinburne (also portrayed by Hewetson) who gave it to Sir Thomas Gascoigne (also portrayed by Banks) - it is now at Lotherton Hall near Leeds

for Banks busts see -

and for what I suggest is possibly an early self portrait -


John Deare in Rome.

Another late and great 18th Century Sculptor who could do with an up to date biography.

Deare was in Rome from 1785 until his death in 1798.

John Deare (1759 - 98). Former apprentice to Thomas Carter II. 

His first address was on the Corso. The studio /workshop of Bartolemeo Cavaceppi was also on the Corso.

Nollekens and his Times - by John Thomas Smith 1829 has great deal of very interesting information about Deare, his workings with Thomas Carter in London and his experiences in Rome including many letters from him to members of his family