Portrait of Gustavus Hamilton, 2nd Viscount Boyne

After the painting in the collection of Viscount Boyne, Burwarton House, Salop

Copy after William Hogarth, English, 1697 - 1764

Geography:
Made in England, Europe

Date:
c. 1740

Medium:
Oil on canvas

Dimensions:
21 x 14 5/8 inches (53.3 x 37.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1943-40-49

Credit Line:
The John D. McIlhenny Collection, 1943

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Additional information:
  • PublicationBritish Painting in the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Gustavus Hamilton (1710-1746) was the eldest son of Hon. Frederick Hamilton and grandson of Gustavus, 1st Viscount Boyne, whom he succeeded in 1723. He was educated at Westminster School and was a Member of Parliament for Newport, Isle of Wight, from 1736 to 1741. Hamilton was also a member of the Irish Privy Council and Commissioner of Revenue for Ireland and Scotland (1737-46). He died on April 20, 1746. Lord Boyne was a founder-member in 1734 of the Society of Dilettanti, a group of Englishmen who had made the Grand Tour and who met in London to discuss, and to exert their influence on, matters of taste. Among Boynes fellow members was his particular friend, the notorious rake Francis Dashwood, Baron le Despencer (1708-1781).

    We do not know when Boyne commissioned his portrait, but it was probably between 1735 and 1740. About 1740 he gave Hogarth a further commission, to paint him in the act of rescuing a fellow traveler from a thief who has attacked them by night in front of a tavern (A Night Encounter, c. 1740, 28 x 36'', Salop, the Viscount Boyne Collection). This commission led Dashwood to commission from Hogarth a facetious and half-blasphemous portrait of Sir Francis as a hermit meditating on a crucifix composed of the nude body of a magdalen (Sir Francis Dashwood at His Devotions, 1750s, 48 x 35", Salop, the Viscount Boyne Collection). The Philadephia Portrait of Boyne1 is a copy of the prime version, which is in the collection of the Viscount Boyne (William Hogarth, Gustavus Hamilton, 2nd Viscount Boyne, c. 1740, oil on canvas, 22 x 16" {15.9 x 40.6 cm.}, Burwarton House, Salop, the Viscount Boyne Collection). There are at least twelve (and probably more) versions of this composition.

    Richard Dorment, from British Painting in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: From the Seventeenth through the Nineteenth Century (1986), pp. 172-173.

    1. A Royal Academy exhibition label for 1887 is pasted on the stretcher, but the picture is not listed in the catalogue for the Royal Acadenw winter exhibition, 1887. INSCRIPTION: No 1825 [an inventory number stenciled on the canvas]; and a Royal Academy exhibition label for 1887.

    LITERATURE:
    John Bowyer Nichols, ed. Anecdotes of William Hogarth Written by Himself. London, 1833. Reprint, London, 1970, p. 384; Austin Dobson. William Hogarth. [1879] 2nd ed., revised, London, 1907, p. 207 (provenance confused with that of the version in the National Gallery of Ireland); Arthur Edwin Bye, ''John D. McIlhenny Memorial Exhibition-Paintings," The Pennsylvania Museum Bulletin, vol. 21, no. 100 (February 1926), p. 92; Janet Rosenwald, ''Knoedler Holds Loan Exhibition of Hogarth's Art," Art News, vol. 34, no. 7 (November 16, 1935), repro. p. 4; Parnassus, vol. 7 (November 1935), repro. p. 13; Henri Marceau. "Paintings from the McIlhenny Collection." The Pennsylvania Museum Bulletin, vol. 39, no. 200 (January I944), p. 55, repro. p. 56; Art News, vol. 43, no. 18 (January 1-14, 1945), repro. p. 17; Milwaukee, Milwaukee Art Institute, Gallery Notes, vol. 19, no. 2 (November 1946), repro. (cover); R. B. Beckett, "Famous Hogarths in America." Art in America, vol. 36, no. 4 (October 1948), pp. 172-73; R. B. Beckett, Hogarth, London, 1949, p. 48; The Baltimore Museum of Art News, vol. 22 (May 1959), repro. p. 11 ; Gabriele Baldini and Gabriele Mandel, L'opera completa di Hogarth pittore, Milan, 1967, no. 101.