Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd

  • Pastel over pencil
  • 9 × 7 inches · 230 × 190 mm
  • Drawn c. 1777
  • Sold

Collections

  • William FitzGerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster, the sitter’s first cousin;
  • By descent to Augustus FitzGerald, 3rd Duke of Leinster, by descent recorded at Carton House, Kildare in 1885;
  • By descent until 2013.

Literature

  • Catalogue of Pictures and Antiquities at Carton, 1885, pp.33-35, no.16. John Ingamells, The National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, London, 2004, p.166.
  • Neil Jeffares, Dictionary of pastellists before 1800 (online edition).
     

This finely rendered and highly sensitive portrait of the Whig politician Charles James Fox was drawn by the Irish portraitist, Hugh Douglas Hamilton for William FitzGerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster.

Fox and Leinster were first cousins, their mothers having been two of the notorious Lennox sisters, daughters of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond and granddaughters of King Charles II. The present pastel was one of a series of thirty-six commissioned by the Duke of Leinster to decorate a room at his Irish seat, Carton House. The survival of this previously unpublished work offers fascinating evidence of pastel portraits and their use in commemorating personal and familial ties during the eighteenth century. More than this, as a very fine, highly sensitive and private portrait of one of the most famous figures of the eighteenth century it is an important addition to both Hamilton’s oeuvre and Fox’s iconography.