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Captain Robert Boyle Nicholas (1744-1780) with his Yacht, 'Nepaul'

Francis Cotes (London 1726 - London 1770) and possibly Dominic Serres the elder, RA (Auch 1722 – London 1793)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1760 - 1769

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

1257 x 1016 mm (49 1/2 x 40 in)

Place of origin

England

Order this image

Collection

Montacute House, Somerset (Accredited Museum)

NT 597947

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Captain Robert Boyle Nicholas (1744-1780) with his Yacht, 'Nepaul' by Francis Cotes (London 1726 - London 1770) and possibly Dominic Serres the elder, RA (Auch 1722 – London 1793), 1760s. Portrait of a young man, three-quarter length turned to right, gazing at spectator, leaning on his left arm on a stone sea wall and holding a wooden cane in his left hand and his hat resting on the all held in his right right. He has on a powdered wig and is wearing a scarlet coat, and breeches and a green waistcoat embroidered with gold. In the background is his yacht, 'Nepaul'. Stormy sky with distant view of land. Post-Captain on HMS Thunderer (Post-Captain was a commissioned officer in command of a vessel of 20 guns or more). HMS Thunderer had 74 guns. Captain Nicholas and his crew were killed in a hurricane off the coast of Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic) in 1780.

Provenance

Previously in 1931 Marquis del Moral (1871 - 1955), London; bought and bequeathed by Sir Percy Malcolm Stewart (1871-1951) to the National Trust and transferred to Montacute House, 1960 after the death of Lady Stewart

Credit line

Montacute House, The Malcolm Stewart Bequest (National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

Verso: Old label on back of painting. Inscribed on label: The portrait by Cotes in Court Dress. The landscape by Cerres. Two distinguished painters in those days. Cost 50 gns. Recto: Gilt tablet affixed to bottom of painting: 1744 Captain Robert Boyle Nicholas, R.N. 1780 / Post Captain in H.M.S.'Thunderer' / 1726 Francis Cotes R.A. 1770 / Seascape with his yacht 'Napaul' by D. Serres R.A.

Makers and roles

Francis Cotes (London 1726 - London 1770) and possibly Dominic Serres the elder, RA (Auch 1722 – London 1793), artist Francis Cotes, RA (London 1726 – London 1770), artist possibly Dominic Serres the elder, RA (Auch 1722 – London 1793), artist

References

Winter 1931 K Winter, ‘Francis Cotes’, Connoisseur, LXXXVIII, 1931, pp.250, 251, repd., Dated ‘probably 1769’ by Winter. When his article was published, there was apparently an old label on the back of the picture: ‘The portrait by Cotes in Court Dress. The landscape by Cerres. Two distinguished painters in those days. Cost 50 gns.’ The seascape and the yacht are probably correctly attributed to Serres. Johnson 1976: Edward Mead Johnson, Francis Cotes, 1976, 110. Captain Robert Boyle Nicholas, R.N. National Trust, Montacute House, Montacute, Somerset. Oil on canvas, 49 1/2 x 40 in. Neither signed nor dated. Condition: Good. The label on the frame reads: 1744 Captain Robert Boyle Nicholas, R.N. 1780 / Post Captain in H.M.S.'Thunderer' / 1726 Francis Cotes R.A. 1770 / Seascape with his yacht 'Napaul' by D. Serres R.A. Captain Robert Boyle Nicholas, 1744-1780. T.Q.L., to the right wearing a scarlet coat, leaning against a stone parapet to his left, holding a wooden walking stick in his right hand and a black hat in his left hand; a seascape background with his yacht, 'Napaul'. Date. The style of the picture places it c.1762; it is imiliar to no.109. Provenance. By family descent to the Marquis del Moral; Leggatt Brothers, London; Sir Malcolm Stewart, U.K; Sir Malcolm Stewart bequeathed the picture to the National Trust at Montacute in 1960. References CWO.[Wynter, Carl, 'Francis Cotes, RA' Part II, The Connoisseur, Vol.88, no.362, October 1931]pp.250 (fig.no.V), 251; NTH, [St. John, Gore, Robert. 'Pictures in National Trust Houses,' The Burlington Magazine, Vol. CXI, No.793, April 1969] p.248. Dominic Serres, the marine painter, 1722-1793, arrived in England c.1758. Along with Cotes he became a founding member of the Royal Academy. It is interesting to note that among Cotes's possessins sold after his death was 'A sea piece by Seres' (cf. Appendix II, p.12, lot 38) Gore 1969: F. St John Gore, 'Pictures in National Trust Houses', supplement to Burlington Magazine, Vol.cxi, No.793. April 1969, pp.239-58, "Montacute House, Somerset (Montacute, Nr.Yeovil) Ownership; ...In 1960 a collection of pictures (marked *) was bequeathed by Sir Malcolm Stewart... Cotes, F. Capt. Robert Boyle Nicholas * 49 1/2 x 40." Montacute House, Somerset, 1976 [The National Trust; Dudley Dodd] 1976, "THE PARLOUR West Wall Captain Robert Boyle Nicholas, by Francis Cotes (1726-1770), seascape by D. Serres." Montacute House, Somerset, 1991 [The National Trust; Malcolm Rogers] 1991, p.58. "THE PARLOUR PAINTINGS Captain Robert Boyle Nicholas (1744-80) Post Captain on HMS Thunderer. In the background is Nicholas's yacht Napaul. The seascape is perhaps by the marine painter Dominic Serres. (Stewart bequest) Francis Cotes (1726-70) and (?) Dominic Serres (1722-93), 1760s." Montacute House, Somerset, 1997 [The National Trust; Malcolm Rogers] 1991, revised 1997 , p.60. "THE PARLOUR PAINTINGS Captain Robert Boyle Nicholas (1744-80) Post Captain on HMS Thunderer. In the background is Nicholas's yacht Napaul. The seascape is perhaps by the marine painter Dominic Serres. (Stewart bequest) Francis Cotes (1726-70) and (?) Dominic Serres (1722-93), 1760s." Montacute House, Somerset, 2004-2006 [The National Trust; Malcolm Rogers] 2000, revised 2004, reprinted 2005, 2006, p.48. "THE PARLOUR PAINTINGS Captain Robert Boyle Nicholas (1744-80) Post Captain on HMS Thunderer. In the background is Nicholas's yacht Napaul. The seascape is perhaps by the marine painter Dominic Serres. (Stewart bequest) Francis Cotes (1726-70) and (?) Dominic Serres (1722-93), 1760s."

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