George William Coventry, 6th Earl of Coventry (1722-1808)
Allan Ramsay (Edinburgh 1713 - Dover 1784)
Oil painting on canvas, George William Coventry, 6th Earl of Coventry (1722-1809) by Allan Ramsay (Edinburgh 1713 - Dover 1784), signed and dated ‘A. Ramsay 1764’ on the base of the urn and with identifying inscription ‘George William/6th Earl of Coventry’ (on the base of the column). A three-quarter-length portrait of the 6th Earl of Coventry, turned to left, facing, wearing a red velvet suit, white shirt with lace cuffs and collar and a black satin bagwig. Holding in his right hand a black tricorn hat, Coventry leans on a table supporting a stack of books; to his left is a pedestal-mounted marble urn. A red chalk study for the urn, presumably first used by Ramsay for his portrait of Augusta, Princess of Wales, is in the collection of the National Galleries Scotland (acc.no. D.1856); the urn itself appears to be one of a pair which now stand on the East Terrace at Windsor Castle (RCIN 71445). In an exceptional carved giltwood frame after a design by Robert Adam. Ramsay's bill for this portrait remains at Croome Court: 'Allan Ramsay September 28th 1764 Half-length of his Lordship by me £52.10.0.'. The composition is repeated exactly in Ramsay's portrait of William Charles Colyear, 3rd Earl of Portmore (1747 - 1823) at Penrhyn Castle (NT 1420352).
By family descent at Croome; on loan to the National Trust by The Croome Heritage Trust since December 2007
Marks and inscriptions
On the base of the urn in the portrait: Signed and dated: 'A. Ramsay 1764' On the base of the column in the portrait: Identifying inscription: 'George William/6th Earl of Coventry'
Makers and roles
Allan Ramsay (Edinburgh 1713 - Dover 1784), artist
Smart 1952 Alastair Smart, The Life and Art of Allan Ramsay, London 1952, pp. 106, 208, xxxvii Smart and Ingamells 1999 Alastair Smart and John Ingamells (ed.), Allan Ramsay A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings, New Haven and London, Yale, 1999, no. 107, fig. 561 Smart 1992 Alastair Smart, Allan Ramsay: Painter, Essayist and Man of the Enlightenment, 1992, p. 195 Waterhouse 1994 Ellis K. Waterhouse, Painting in Britain 1530-1790, Pelican History of Art, Harmondsworth, [1st Pub.1953], 1994 ed., p. 210 Simon 1994 Jacob Simon, 'Allan Ramsay and picture frames', The Burlington Magazine, CXXXVI, 1994, pp. 444-54, pp. 450-1