Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill Collection
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This item is located in the Blue Bedchamber.

Portrait of Sir Robert Walpole and Catherine Shorter
Portrait of Sir Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, and Catherine Shorter, Lady Walpole

Strawberry Hill ID: sh-000035
c.1754; frame: c. 1680
Eccardt, John Giles (British painter, d. 1779)
Wootton, John (British landscape painter, c.1681/2-1764)
Gibbons, Grinling, attributed to (English woodcarver and sculptor, 1648-1721)
Oil on canvas, in a carved frame in the stle of Grinling Gibbons, gilt and black.
50.8 x 101.6 x 23 cm [painting]
The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University

Strawberry Hill History

Location: Blue Bedchamber

1774 Description: .... over the chimneypiece ... In a frame of black and gold carved by Gibbons, sir Robert Walpole and Catharine Shorter; small whole lengths; by Eckardt, after Zinck: the hounds and view of Houghton by Wootton. Sir Robert is sitting; by him, on a table, is the purse of chancellor of the exchequer, leaning against busts of George 1st. and 2d. to denote his being first minister to those kings: by lady Walpole are flowers, shells, a pallet and pencils, to mark her love of the arts.(37)

1784 Description: Text same as 1774 Description (28-29)

Sale Text: A very interesting and valuable picture, Portraits of Sir Robert Walpole and Catherine Shorter, Lady Walpole, small whole lengths, the former in his robes sitting, on a table near him is the purse of the Chancellor of the Exchequer leaning against busts of George I. and II., to denote his being First Minister to those kings; near Lady Walpole are flowers, shells, a pallet and pencils to mark her love of the arts; their favourite hounds in the foreground and a view of Houghton in the distance. This painting is from the united efforts of Eckardt and Wootton, and is considered a masterpiece of art; the Portraits of Sir Robert and Lady Walpole are from the miniatures by Zincke, the hounds and view of Houghton by Wootton. The black and gold frame enclosing the picture, one of the finest specimens carving, is by Gibbons, displaying with wonderful effect the arms of the family, enriched with Cupid figures as supporters, birds, fruit, grapes and foliage, most beautifully designed and perfect as a work of art. Eckardt and Wootton.

Object History

Provenance: Probably commissioned by Horace Walpole; 1842, Strawberry Hill Sale, day 22, lot 84, bt Marquis of Lansdowne for £51.9.0; 1930, March 7, Christie's, (Landsdowne Sale), lot 40, bt Basil Dighton, £336; 1930, June, The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.

Exhibition History: "Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill," Orleans House Gallery. Twickenham, England. 9/20/1980-12/7/1980. No. 2.
"A Treasure House in Farmington," Yale Center for British Art. New Haven, Connecticut. 10/15/1999-1/9/2000.
"Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill," Yale Center for British Art 15 October 2009 - 3 January 2010, Victoria and Albert Museum, 5 March 2010 - 4 July 2010, no. 39.

Bibliography: HW Corres 35.173-4
W.S. Lewis, Collector's Progress (London: Constable, 1952), repro. opp p.23.
W. S. Lewis, Horace Walpole, Bollingen Series 35 The A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts 9 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1961), no. 3.
John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits (London: H.M. Stationery Off., 1977), v.2, pl.594.
W.S. Lewis, Rescuing Horace Walpole (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978), 24.
Hugh Glover, “Two Furnishings from Strawberry Hill: Exploration and Treatment,” Postprints of the wooden artifacts group presented at the 30th annual meeting of the American Institute for Conservation, Miami, Florida, June 2002 (Washington, D.C.: American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2002).
Larissa Dukelskaya and Andrew Moore, eds., A Capital Collection. Houghton Hall and the Hermitage. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007), 10.