A 3/4 Length Portrait Of George, 1st Marquess Townshend By Angelica Kauffman
Oil on canvas
50 x 40 inches
Frame: 57 x 48”
Excellent condition with a sympathetic early 20th century paste re-lining.
This skilfully executed and pleasing portrait displays the softness and sensitivity of a female hand and the genius of the artist.
The Collection of the Marquesses Townshend, Raynham Hall, Fakenham, Norfolk;
Heirlooms Sale (label verso).
Richmond Art Museum, Indiana, USA.
Historical Portraits Ltd., Philip Mould, London.
Important Private Collection Belgravia
Field Marshal George Townshend, 1st Marquess Townsend (1724-1807)
British soldier and politician
He saw action in Europe from 1743 and at Culloden during the Jacobite uprising of 1746. He was promoted to Colonel in 1848. During the battle of the plains of Abraham he successfully took over command of the British forces when both General Wolfe and his second in command were wounded. He received Quebec City’s surrender on the 18th September 1759. Subsequently the French conceded ‘New France’ to Great Britain which then became known as Canada. In 1779 a fortification in Newfoundland and Labrador was named Fort Townshend in recognition of his success during the war with the French.
In 1763 he became Lieutenant-General of the Ordinance and succeeded his father as Viscount Townshend in 1764.
As Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1767 until 1771 he resided at Dublin Castle where he entertained Angelica Kauffman while she painted various leading Irish figures.
Created Marquess Townshend in 1787 he became Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Governor of Kingston-upon-Hull and Governor of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, in 1795.
Promoted to Field Marshall in 1796 he died at his home, Raynham Hall in Norfolk in 1807.
Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807)
Swiss Neo-Classical painter and portraitist in London and Rome.
Perceived as a history painter she was also a skilled portraitist.
As a tribute to her genius she was one of only two female founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768.
From a much travelled family, her father was a poor but skilful muralist working for a Bishop. From an early age Angelica developed her skills, working as his assistant in Switzerland, Austria and Italy. A child prodigy she rapidly became multi-lingual and a 12 she became a portraitist with many nobles and clergymen sitting for her. In 1762 the family moved to Florence where she became a member of the Academia del Arte Firenze. From thence they moved to Rome then Naples where she studied the Old Masters. Feted everywhere for her talents and charm, she visited Bologna and Venice where she was persuaded by Lady Wentworth, wife of the English ambassador, to accompany her to London. Her first portrait in London was that of David Garrick, the celebrated actor. She soon became firm friends with Sir Joshua Reynolds when they painted each other’s portraits.
In 1769 her work appeared in the first Royal Academy catalogue.
In 1771 for several months Kauffman became a guest of George Townshend at Dublin Castle during which time she painted several leading figures including Philip Tindal, the Attorney General and his wife Mary, Henry Loftus, 1st Earl of Ely and family. The latter included his niece, Dorothea Monroe, considered the leading Irish beauty of her time.
In addition to her being an accomplished portraitist she was also renowned as a History painter, considered to be the most elevated form of art at that time.
Her funeral was directed by Antonio Canova in recognition of the high esteem in which she was held by her profession.
Kauffman’s work is represented in Hampton Court, Dresden, the Hermitage, Munich, Tallinn, Graz, the Uffizi and many other institutions throughout the world.
The Angelica Kauffman Museum was opened in Schwarzenburg, Austria in 2007 with an exhibition entitled ‘Unknown Treasures’ due to much of her work still remaining in private collections.