Romney, George (1734-1802): George Boscawen 3rd Viscount Falmouth (1758-1808), oil on canvas, 76 x 63.5 cms. Purchased with grant aid from Resource/V & A Purchase Grant Fund; NACF; Beecroft Bequest and Philip Mould/Historical Portraits.
About the frame
A French carved giltwood frame, early twentieth-century, modelled on a 1740s–1780s British Rococo pattern, with chain cabochon back edge, swept rails with bound fasces ornament, fanned lambrequin corners and shell centres with rocailles; the ground decorated with cross-hatching, the corners with diapering; small sanded frieze and an acanthus leaf-tip sight.
THIS oil painting was commissioned by Viscount Falmouth at the time of his marriage in 1784 to Anne, daughter and heiress of John Crewe of Bolesworth Castle, Cheshire. Viscount Falmouth was said to be present at the Battle of Lexington Green in 1775, the first engagement of the American War of Independence. His family home was at Tregothan, near Falmouth.
About the Artist
George Romney was one of this county's finest portrait painters, along with Gainsborough, Reynolds and Lawrence. He was born in Beckside on a small farm near Dalton-in-Furness, and became apprenticed to his father, a joiner and cabinetmaker. Romney spent ten years carving gilding furniture while copying prints in his spare time. After further apprenticeships in the North, he eventually settled in London, where he was extremely productive and successful. In 1781 he met the beautiful Emma Lyon (Hart), later Lady Hamilton and the mistress of Horatio Nelson, and painted her on numerous occasions.