Thursday 7 March 2024

Hewetson 37 - The Busts remaining in the studio and the unidentified busts.

(Post in preparation).

 Christopher Hewetson.

(Part 37).

An Irish Sculptor in Italy - 

The busts remaining in the Hewetson Studio after his death and the unidentified busts.

The 1798 Inventory of the contents of Hewetson's Studio.

A list the busts remaining in the Hewetson Studio when he died and some notes.

Some of these busts were later completed by his longtime assistant Cristoforo Prosperi.

See my separate post for the works of Prosperi.

The inventory was compiled under the supervision of two contemporary sculptors and restorers Vincenzo Pacetti (1746 - 1820)  and Carlo Albacini (1752 - 1783).

A good starting point for these important characters in the Hewetson story.


The studio contents list 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.

1. Milord Plymouth. (see also no 14 Milady Plymouth). Portrait painted by Batoni,

Un busto rapresentante il ritratto di Milord Plymouth si e trovatridotto ad un punto, che della sei parti ne sono state fatte quatro (fol 4333 V).

At the time of writing I think that it is possible that these two busts are the pair of busts at the Ashmolean,

see my post -

2. Syr John Thromostron. (Throgmorton).

"Altro busto rappresentante il ritratto di Syr John Throgmostron ridotto al punto, che delle sei parti ni sono state fatte quatro e mezza".

see -

3. Lady Carneghi. Agnes Murray Elliot (1763 - 1860).

Visited Rome with her husband Sir David Carnegie, Baron Carnegie of Kinnaird 4th Baronet of Southeske (1753 - 1805).

The couple travelled in Italy between October 1791 and August 1792, They were in Rome by December 1791 whilst in Rome in the spring of 1792.

4. Milord Buerre. Altro busto rapresentante il ritratto di Milord Buerre, che si e ritrovato compito e terminato (Fol 434 r).

Huerta makes the case for Charles William Bury, Baron Tullamore, later Viscount Charleville He knew James Byers and was probably in Rome in 1789.

He was an antiquary and president of the Royal Hibernian Academy. He married Catherine Maria, née Dawson, the widow of James Tisdall, in 1798.


Image below National Library of Ireland.

5. Milord Harrington. Altro busto rappresentante il retrato di Milord Harrington ridotto al puntoche della sei parti Se ne sono fatte cinque.

A Mister Harrigton on Cavaliere Harrington was in Rome at this time and signed a document 16 January 1790 requesting a licence to export pictures (see Ingamells).

6. Syr John Marplerson. This is most likely Sir John Macpherson 1st Baronet (1745 - 1821).

Altro busto rappresentante il ritrato di Syr Jhon Marplerson ridotto al punto chelle sei parti. Se ne sono fatte cinque.

Sir John Macpherson 1st Baronet  (1745 - 1821) 

7. Milord La Touche.  This entry could refer to either David Digues la Touche (1729 - 1817) or his son John la Touche (1772 - 1838).

8. Lord Clifford.

9 & 10. Milord Wemmuster and Son.

11. Groipen.

12. Milord Brunuch.

13. Unidentified Milord.

14. Milady Plymouth (see no 1 above).

This List above 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.


Wednesday 6 March 2024

Hewetson (Part 35) Leibnitz

(Post under construction)

 Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz (1646 - 1716).


inscribed - Christophorus  Hewetson  Hibcrnus  fecit Romae  MDCCLXXXIIII.

1789- 80.

Image below from Bildindex

Erected in Hanover (Leibnitz Haus).

Much mutilated.

Very low resolution photograph.


Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz (1646 - 1716), 

Plaster bust.

Gottinngen University.


Height 85 cms.

I suspect that this is an early cast - it has obviously been stripped of paint and it appears that the head has been off and glued back in place.

Hewetson (Part 34) The Tomasso Brothers Anonymous Bust.

 Christopher Hewetson (Part 34) 

 Anonymous Bust.

Formerly with Leeds and London Dealers Tomasso Brothers.

Christopher Hewetson.

Statuary Marble on a Nero Portero Socle

Inscribed Christ.r Hewetson Fec.t.

75 cms.


Sotheby's 21 April 2021, Lot 148.

I am slightly suspicious of the inscription on this fine bust and suspect that it was carved after the death of Hewetson.

This is perhaps one of the 14 busts which had been paid for but were left unfinished in his studio at the time of his death and later completed by his long time and able assistant Cristoforo Prosperi.


Monday 4 March 2024

Hewetson (Part 33) The Monument to Dr Balwin at Trinity College, Dublin erected in 1784


The Monument to Dr Balwin at Trinity College, Dublin 

erected by Irish sculptor Edward Smyth in 1784.

There are no good photographs of this monument on line.

Low resolution image supposedly by Tofanelli showing Hewetson.


see - Esdaile, K.A. "Christopher Hewetson and his monument to Dr. Baldwin in Trinity College, Dublin", Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (December 1947): 134-135.

Here transcribed from the article by Katherine Esdaile.

A Copy of Whitaker's History of Whalley, which once belonged to B. H. Beaumont (who supplied Whitaker with some of his information) proved to contain various loose notes about Christopher Hewetson, as well as a long passage relating to that sculptor's life and his important monument to Provost Baldwin1 in Trinity College, Dublin.

The relevant entries were courteously communicated by the owner of the volume in question, and as that dealing with the Baldwin Monument has a special interest for Dublin, publication in Ireland (prior to inclusion in a forthcoming Dictionary of British Sculptors) seemed advisable.

In this particular entry Beaumont is clearly quoting an MS. of Hewetson's own written in 1793 and as accounts by an 18th century sculptor of one of his own works are exceedingly rare, it seems worth while to give it verbatim et literatim. It occurs in Book VI page 49 of the above mentioned work,

"Description of Dr. Baldwin's Monument, by Christopher Hewetson, the artist, who made it.?10th April, 1793.

" The Marbles of which the monument are composed are as follows. The figures are Carrara Statuary Marble. The Base of the whole is that called here [in Italy] Africano and is only to be had now by cutting up fragments of ancient architecture. 

The sarcophagus of a marble found at Porto Venere near Genova and goes by that name in Italy. The tablet for the inscription is called here Pietro Paragone, but is, I believe, ill-named. As yet no inscription has been put on this tablet or panel, but it was my direction that it should be cut in the stone and gilt, the better to harmonize with the yellow veins in the Porto Venere (golden vein called in England) and with the gilt-bronze ornaments placed on the sarcophagus.

" The Piramid is of the Red Oriental Granit and makes a much better ground for the white figures than any other hitherto used for that purpose. N.B. I was the first who applied Granit to this use.

" The subject of the monument is this: Dr. Baldwin having presided for many years over the College of Dublin as Provost, having during that time contributed towards the advancement of the salary by a strict attention to the duties of his charge, and likewise on his Death having left to the University £80,000 for the purpose of founding Professorships, I chose tomrepresent Dr. Baldwin as near his end, his Will dropping from his hand whilst with the other [hand] and the expression of his head I endeavoured to shew a reconciliation to Divine Will communicated to him by an angel.

" This figure I have represented as if just descended and stepping towards [him] holding on high, in the left hand a crown composed of a branch of Olive and of a Palm Branch, whilst with his right hand, and stooping forward, he points to the crown, as a promise to the dying man of a reward of his virtues.

" The third figure in this group is that of a Muse, the Simbol of Science, supporting her Benefactor and lamenting the near approach of his end."

So far very little has been known of Hewetson. According to Strickland (Dictionary of Irish Artists Dublin, 18913. he was the son of Christopher Hewetson of Kilkenny, born about 1739, and of such exceptional artistic abilities that he was sent by his friends to study in Rome where he stayed for the rest of his life. 

But apart from stating that he received £1,000 for executing the Baldwin monument in Rome c.1771-82, that it cost £416 to transport, and arrived in Dublin in 1784,

Strickland only mentions two other works?busts sent to the Academy Exhibitions in 1786 and 1790? and is uncertain of the year of death. Consequently even Beaumont's other casual notes are valuable. For instance, his reference to a bust of Prince Augustus (George Ill's son, the Duke of Sussex) and his dating of it to 1794, forms an addition to the very scanty list of Hewetson's known works. Again, about the commission (perhaps never executed) from the notorious Bishop, Earl of Bristol for " a colossal portrait of Mr. Pitt in marble," he relates that Hewetson, having just unsatisfactory engravings to go by, only undertook it " for the love of Bread and Cheese." 

Finally, Hewetson, says Beaumont, " died in 1798, partly of age and partly through anxiety caused by the French ravages in Italy, by which he suffered, absent from his native country 33 or 34 years. Buried near the tomb of Caivs Sestivs."

"It will be found that these passages and my own investigations?e.g., about busts of the Duke of Cumberland, Charles Towneley and lost busts of Thomas Westfaling and of Gavin Hamilton? add much to the information collected by Strickland. Certainly Hewetson was an accomplished artist and fully deserved the praises of his fellow-artists in Rome".

Katherine Esdaile

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 below from de Breffny.

Current whereabouts unknown.

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.

Married in 1763.

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

Henry and Martha Swinburne were in Rome at the same time as the Duke and Duchess 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 Hewetson 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.

nee Ponsonby.

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.,




Portrait of The Hon. Aubrey Beauclerk and his Family, in an elegant interior, a view to the Castel Gandolfo beyond.

 Franciszek Smuglewicz (Warsaw 1745-1807 Vilno)

Image courtesy Bonhams Auctions, Lot 73, 8 Dec 2010.

Portrait of The Hon. Aubrey Beauclerk and his Family, in an elegant interior, a view to the Castel Gandolfo beyond.

oil on canvas.

66.2 x 73.8cm (26 1/16 x 29 1/16in).

Provenance -

The sitter and thence by descent to the 13th Duke St. Albans

By whom sold, Christie's, London, 23 June, 1978, lot 128

Where purchased by the family of the present owner.



D. Adamson and P. Beauclerk Dewar, The House of Nell Gwyn. The Fortunes of the Beauclerk Family 1670-1974, (London, 1974), ill., opposite p. 95 (as attributed to Pietro Longhi)

F. Russell, 'A Second Conversation Piece by Franciszek Smuglevitz', in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 120, no. 904, July 1978, pp. 466-469.

Essay below from Bonham's Website.


The present work depicts The Hon. Aubrey Beauclerk (1740-1802), later 5th Duke of St. Albans, and his family including his eldest son Aubrey (1765-1815, later 6th Duke of St. Albans), who joined his parents in Rome in May 1778, and their two eldest daughters, Catherine (d. 1803) and Caroline (d. 1838).


On 4th June 1778, Lady Mary Lowther noted in a letter to Lady Mary Coke that 'Mr Beauclerk, Lady Catherine and Mr Brand were gone together abroad, being so in debt they found it troublesome staying at home'. Their trip abroad may have been arranged to try to escape the rumours of an affair between Lady Catherine and Thomas Brand. The Beauclerks spent almost three years in Rome during which time Smuglevicz painted them twice. One of these portraits is the present work, which depicts the family before the Castel Gandolfo where they rented apartments for the summer of 1779. The other portrait (now in Cheltenham Art Gallery) shows the family in the Roman campagna with an aqueduct in the background.


The attribution of the present painting to Smuglevicz was first suggested by Francis Russell in his Burlington Magazine article in 1978. His attribution was in turn based on that established by Brinsley Ford for his Portrait of James Byres and his family and also for that of the Portrait of James Byres and his family in an interior now in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh. The present painting compares very well with these two works both in the distinctive, subdued palette and in the meticulous treatment of the drapery, particularly that of Lady Catherine's dress.


Franciszek Smuglevicz moved from his native Warsaw to Rome in 1763 where he trained with Anton von Maron. It may well have been through the latter that Smugelvicz met James Byres, the antiquary, art dealer and cicerone for many British Grand Tourists in Rome. Byres himself commissioned two portraits from the Polish painter, as detailed above, and he is certainly known to have introduced other tourists to Smuglevicz (for example, he recorded payment to the artist on behalf of Philip Yorke, later 3rd Earl of Hardwicke, for a double portrait of Yorke and his Swiss tutor, Colonel Wittestein, most probably the work offered at Christie's, London, 16 April, 1982, lot 16). Very few works by Smuglevicz are known and it is surprising that, given his clear connection with James Byres, he is not known to have executed more commissions of this type for British Grand Tourists in Rome during his 20 year stay in the city.

Saleroom notices -

The present painting will be included in the article 'A speculative Grand Tour excavation: Aubrey Beauclerk, Thomas Brand and Thomas Jenkins at Centocelle', by J. Yarker and C. Hornsby, in the 'The British Art Journal', December, 2010


Thomas Banks (1735 - 1805). 

Thomas Banks in Rome.

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 Banks 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.

Banks was treated very shoddily by the capricious 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 that of her husband were made by Hewetson cast in bronze by Valadier) organised a raffle for his Alcyone (see below) - it was won by Henry Swinburne (also portrayed by Hewetson) who gave it to Sir Thomas Gascoigne (also portrayed by Hewetson) - it is now at Lotherton Hall near Leeds.

for Banks busts see -

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

Alcyone and Ceyx.

Thomas Banks.

Marble relief.

0.78 x 1.12 (30 3/4 x 44 1/8 inches)

Originally at Parlington Hall, Aberford, West Yorks - the Family Seat of the Gascoignes.

Parlington Hall was abandoned in 1905 and finally demolished in 1952.

A version of this sculptural relief was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1775, see Biog Dictionary ...Yale which states it is Marble (this needs to be confirmed - I suspect that it was a terracotta or plaster macquette). 

Image courtesey the Paul Mellon Photographic Archive

for a good general biography and list of works see -

For more on the works of Thomas Banks  see my post-


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.