Louis-Jules-Barbon Mancini-Mazarini, duc de Nivernais (1716-1798)

Allan Ramsay (Edinburgh 1713 - Dover 1784)
National Trust Inventory Number 851759

Category Paintings
Date circa 1763 - 1765
Materials Oil on canvas
Measurements 590 x 510 mm
Place of origin
Collection Ickworth, Suffolk (Accredited Museum)
Not on show

The sitter was an influential cultural and literary figure, as well as statesman. He was a French diplomat and Minister of State and ambassador extraordinary to George III when he helped negotiate the terms of the Peace of Paris of 1763, which ended the Seven Years’ War at the time this portrait was probably painted. When he came to London to sign the peace treaty, Charles Townsend said of him that the preliminaries of a man had come to sign the preliminaries of a peace, a reference to his slight build. Nivernais is here shown wearing the blue silk sash of the Order of St Esprit. The portrait can probably be dated prior to the autumn 1763, when he returned to France from England unless it was two years later when the artist spent time in Paris.

He translated Horace Walpole’s ‘Essay on Modern Gardening’ into French but Walpole, rather discourteously, wrote in his diaries of 1763: "The duc de Nivernois has parts and writes at the top of the mediocre... [and] lives in a small circle of dependent admirers" whom Mary Lepel, Lady Hervey of 6 St James's Square, London and Ickworth was one.

Summary description

Oil painting on canvas, Louis-Jules-Barbon Mancini-Mazarini, duc de Nivernais (1716-1798) by Allan Ramsay (Edinburgh 1713 - Dover 1784), circa 1763. A half-length portrait of the French diplomat, Ambassador in Rome in 1748 and in Berlin in 1756 and Minister of State and Ambassador to the Court of St James in 1761, in profile to right, head facing, wearing a red coat, watered blue silk sash across his right shoulder (which is of the Order of the St Esprit/Holy Ghost), powdered hair tied with a black ribbon, white stock; his cocked hat under his left arm. Another similar version is at Boconnoc, Cornwall.

Provenance

In undated Picture List - 6 St James's Square and Edmund Farrer, List of additions to Portraits in Suffolk Houses (West), 1908; and thence by descent to Rear Admiral Frederick William Fane Hervey, 4th Marquess of Bristol (1863-1951), on whose death valued for probate; accepted in lieu of tax by HM Treasury, and transferred to the National Trust in 1956

Credit line

Ickworth, The Bristol Collection (National Trust)

Makers and roles

Allan Ramsay (Edinburgh 1713 - Dover 1784), artist

Exhibition history

"A rational taste of resemblance", Allan Ramsay and the portraiture of learning., The Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, 2013, no.55

References

Blunt 1973 Antony Blunt, Drawings at Waddesdon Manor, Master Drawings, XI, no.4, 1973, pl.3

Related items

Place of origin
Materials Canvas (10000)
Category Paintings (12604)
Collection Ickworth, Suffolk (Accredited Museum) (11189)
Periods 18th century (85125)
Maker Allan Ramsay (Edinburgh 1713 - Dover 1784) (61)
Subjects Louis-Jules-Barbon Mancini-Mazarini, duc de Nivernais (1716-1798) (1)
Object Type Oil painting (11584)

Record Status

Enhanced

© National Trust Images © National Trust Collections Registered Charity No. 205846

Welcome to National Trust Collections. Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website. If you are planning a visit to see particular items in a National Trust Collection, please check information with the relevant Property first.