A2: Laurence Hyde, Earl of Rochester
View larger photo
© The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath
|Title||Laurence Hyde, Earl of Rochester|
|Object type||In category: Pictures » Painting|
|Date||Between 1685 and 1687|
Wissing, Willem (Dutch painter, ca. 1656-1687) (known) - Painter(s)
Previously attributed to Kneller, Godfrey (English painter, 1646-1723) - Painter(s)
|Place of origin||Europe » Northern Europe » British Isles » Great Britain » England » London|
150.0 cm height frame
125.0 cm width frame
123.8 cm height sight
97.8 cm width sight
|Materials & techniques||
Pictures: Medium » Paint » Oil paint
Pictures: Support » Canvas
Three-quarter length portrait in an interior of a gentleman, full-face, leaning on a pedestal to the right with right arm on hip. Wearing a long curled wig and Garter robes: white silk shirt and lace waistcoat, satin hose, white silk stockings, lace cravat, red velvet coat lined with white satin, blue velvet mantle with Star and Garter embroidered on shoulder and fastened with gold cord and large tassels, gold and enamel Garter collar with Great George fastened round shoulders with white ribbons. He holds a white wand in his left hand. On the pedestal is a large plumed hat.
In carved and gilded cushion-moulded frame.
|Marks and inscriptions||
A three-quarter length portrait of Laurence Hyde, Earl of Rochester, attired in magnificent Garter robes. From his collar hangs the jewel of St. George. Recent cleaning has revealed the artist's great attention to detail in painting the costume. It is thought that Wissing's facility with luxuriant detail in costumes and drapery, so splendidly displayed here, were perhaps owed to a period of study in France.
The second son of Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, Laurence Hyde (1642-1711) had a long and fascinating political career. Shortly before this portrait was painted, he was created Earl of Rochester by Charles II in 1682, and in 1685 James II appointed him Lord High Treasurer, although he was dismissed two years later for his strong Protestant beliefs. By the close of William III's reign he had been named Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and was retained in that office by his niece Queen Anne when she came to the throne.
The artist William Wissing (who is also represented in the Holburne collection by a portrait of William III as Prince of Orange, Museum number A10) was born in Amsterdam and studied under Willem Doudyns at The Hague. In about 1676 he came to England, where he worked in the studio of Sir Peter Lely. On Lely's death in 1680 Wissing became for a short time the only significant rival to Godfrey Kneller for the patronage of the court and the nobility. His early death, at the age of thirty two, cut short a promising career.
This portrait is considered a superb example of Wissing's work. A contemporary replica is in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG 819), and further versions are at Attingham Park (National Trust) and Audley End (English Heritage).
The work came from Forde Abbey in Dorset, where Lord Rochester in his Robes as Knight of the Garter, was displayed on the Grand Staircase together with other portraits from the period '...Charles the Second and his Beauties, Nell Gwynne ..., Lucy Walters and the Duchess of Cleveland...'. The collection at Forde Abbey was sold in 1846 after the last Gwyn heir had died. It was largely created by the politician Sir Francis Gwyn, who was widely known to be Rochester's protegé. It is quite possible that Francis Gwyn commissioned the portrait of his patron.
The provenance to Forde Abbey is first given in the 1867 catalogue. Mr. Alec Martin of Christie's first attributed A2 to William Wissing; Horace Buttery rejected the attribution to Sir Godfrey Kneller and described it as a 'school [of Kneller] picture of the time' (1906).
For an account of Garter Robes and Insignia during the Restoration period, see: Anthony Harvey and Richard Mortimer, The Funeral Effigies of Westminster Abbey, Woodbridge, 1994 (Chapter on Charles II).
Holburne catalogue 1867: Portrait of Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, by Godfrey Kneller (Hall and Staircase)
Holburne catalogue 1887: Kneller Moeckler 1902: Kneller
Horace Buttery 1906: 'School picture of the time'
Blaker ?1906: 'after Kneller
A Register 1919: 'Wissing'
Holburne catalogue 1927: 'Wissing'Holburne catalogue
Courtauld List 1971: Wissing
Christopher Wright 1976: Wissing
W. Chaffers, Catalogue of the Holburne of Menstrie Art Museum, Bath , London, 1887, cat. no. 1594, p. 76
Catalogue of the Pictures and Library, Engravings, Etchings and Miniatures Belonging to Sir Thomas William Holburne, Bart., Bath, 1867, cat. no. 230, p.9, as Portrait of Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, by Godfrey Kneller
F. Moeckler, Holburne of Menstrie Art Museum, Bath, 1902, cat. no. 121, p. 4
Catalogue, Pictures and Miniatures, I, 1927, cat. no. 18, p. 10
The Holburne of Menstrie Museum, Catalogue, Part I: Pictures, Bath, 1936, cat. no. 17, pp. 9-10
Art Treasures from West Country Collections, Plymouth, 1954, cat. no. 58, p. 19
C. Wright, Old Master Paintings in Britain: An Index of Continental Old Master Paintings executed before c. 1800 in Public Collections in the United Kingdom, London, 1976, p. 222
Philippa Bishop, Holburne Museum of Art: Souvenir Guidebook, Bath 1999, pp. 14-15
|Muse theme||The Art of Collecting
The History of the Holburne Collection » Sir William Holburne and his Collection » Arranging the Collection: Sir William at Home
Oil paintings in the Holburne Museum
|Method of acquisition||Bequest|
Possibly acquired from the artist by Francis Gwyn M.P, Forde Abbey, Dorset, c.1685; by descent through the Gwyn family; purchased by Sir T. W. Holburne (1793-1874), via English and Son, at Forde Abbey sale, 1846; by whom bequeathed to Mary Anne Barbara Holburne (1802-1882); by whom bequeathed to the Museum
Title of exhibition: Going Dutch: Golden Age Treasures from the Holburne and Barber Collections
Title of exhibition: National Exhibition of Works of Art
Title of exhibition: Art Treasures from West Country Collections
Title of exhibition: The Beauties of Bath: The Holburne Museum revealed
Title of exhibition: Town House Treasures: Sir William Holburne of Bath