Sir Rowland Winn, 5th Bt (1739 - 1785) and his Wife Sabine Louise d'Hervart (1734 -1798) in the Library at Nostell Priory
Hugh Douglas Hamilton RHA (Dublin 1739/40 – Dublin 1808)
Sir Rowland was so proud of his library that he commissioned this painting immediately after it was completed. It shows him with his wife, Sabine, standing before Chippendale’s desk. The painting was hung in their house in St James Square to show off Sir Rowland’s fashionable new library to his London friends.
Oil painting on canvas, Sir Rowland Winn, 5th Bt (1739 - 1785) and his Wife Sabine Louise d'Hervart (1734 -1798) by Hugh Douglas Hamilton RHA (Dublin 1739/40 – Dublin 1808), 1767. A double portrait of Sir Rowland and his wife whom he married in 1761, as a ‘conversation piece' and an allegory of art, standing in an idealised version of the Library at Nostell Priory. The bust of Venus, Roman Goddess of Love, on the pedestal and the chalk sketch of the same bust on the chair (whose features have been slightly altered to reflect Sabine's), symbolise the beauty of the 5th Baronet's wife and his love for her. Hamilton doubled the width of the Library to create a well proportioned composition. However, he accurately recorded its fittings and original decoration, as well as the famous Chippendale desk. Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1739/40 -1808) was an Irish portrait painter, who moved to London in 1760s. He attracted commissions from the British royal family, as well the English and Irish gentry and aristocracy.The painting was commissioned by the 5th Baronet in 1767, to hang in his London house in St James's Square, and was moved to Nostell in 1785, when the London house was sold. It cost 32 guineas.
Commissioned by the 5th Baronet in 1767, to hang in his London house in St James' Square, and was moved to Nostell in 1785; accepted by HM Treasury in lieu of death duties on the estate of Rowland Winn, 4th Baron Oswald (1916 - 1984), 1986
Makers and roles
Hugh Douglas Hamilton RHA (Dublin 1739/40 – Dublin 1808), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Philippe Mercier (Berlin 1689 – London 1760), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Arthur Devis (Preston 1712 – London 1787) , artist
Brockwell 1915 Maurice Walter Brockwell, Catalogue of the Pictures and Other Works of Art in the Collection of Lord St Oswald at Nostell Priory, London 1915, no. 45 English Taste in the Eighteenth Century from Baroque to Neo-Classic (exh cat) Royal Academy, London, Winter exhibition, 1955-1956 Coltman 1999 Viccy Coltman, 'Classicism in the English Library: Reading classical culture in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries', Journal of the History of Collections, vol. 11, no.1, 1999, pp.35-50 Laing 2000 Alastair Laing, 'Sir Rowland and Lady Winn: A Conversation Piece in the Library at Nostell Priory' Apollo, April 2000, pp.14-18 Opper 1986 Thorsten Opper, ‘Ancient glory and modern learning: the sculpture-decorated library’, in Kim Sloan (ed), Enlightenment: Discovering the World in the Eighteenth Century, London 2003), p. 61 Todd and Raikes 2004 Christopher Todd and Sophie Raikes, ' Love, Rebellion and Redemption: Three Generations of Women at Nostell Priory' in Ruth Larsen (ed), Maids and Mistresses: Celebrating 300 Years of Women and the Yorkshire Country House, York 2004, p. 77 Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808): A Life in Pictures (exh cat) National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 22 November 2008 - 15 February 2009, no. 6