Nathaniel Dance-Holland was born in London, the son of architect George Dance the elder. He trained under Francis Hayman and, from 1854, lived in Rome, forming a partnership with Pompeo Batoni. His most prestigious commission was a portrait of Edward, Duke of York (1764) for George III. He returned to London in 1766 and established himself as a portraitist, becoming a founder member of the Royal Academy. In 1783 he married Harriet Drummer of Cranbury Park, Hampshire. He resigned from the Academy in 1790, but continued to exhibit. He was elected MP for East Grinstead, Sussex (1790-1802; 1807-11), and Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire (1802-06). In 1800 he took the name Holland and was created a baronet. He died at his Wiltshire home, aged 76.
Sir Robert Murray Keith (1730-1795) diplomat and army officer
Oil on canvas
height: 73.50 cm, width: 61.00 cm
Purchased from Christie's, 5 March 1937
With J. Rogers & Co.; by whom sold through Christie’s, London, on 5 March 1937 (Lot 127), as by John Opie; from which sale purchased by Leggatt Bros. on behalf of the National Portrait Gallery, which later rejected the work; purchased from Christie's (via Leggatt Bros.) by the Office of Works in April 1937
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