Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield (1804-1881) Prime Minister

French 19th century unknown

Oil on canvas

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    This portrait was purchased in c.1910-12 by Hugo Heinemann, a German Jew and co-founder of a glass-making company, during a trip to London from an employee of the Hotel Cecil on the Strand. The sale of the painting took place some 18 years prior to the auction of the entire contents of Hotel Cecil in 1930, following its bankruptcy. The buyer, Heinemann, may have identified with the Jewish roots of the sitter.

    By 1933 Heinemann had escaped from Germany with his family to Switzerland on the pretext of a skiing holiday. The Press Attaché at the British Embassy in Sweden, Peter Tennant, offered the family assistance and, in 1944, Heinemann presented the painting to the Embassy in Stockholm in recognition of Tennant’s help. The painting was examined by art patron and historian Kenneth Mackenzie Clark (1903-1983), then Director of the National Gallery, who concluded that it was indeed a portrait of Disraeli and noted that it was probably executed by a French artist.

    A drawing of Disraeli by an artist named M. Sentier, exhibited at the New Gallery, Regent Street in 1892 from the collection of Lord Rowton, Disraeli's Private Secretary (1866-81), may give a clue to the identity of the artist.

  • About the artist

  • Explore
    Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield
    Materials & Techniques
    canvas, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield (1804-1881) Prime Minister
    Oil on canvas
    height: 70.00 cm, width: 59.00 cm
    Presented by Hugo Heinemann in September 1945
    Bought by Mr. Heinemann from an English business friend, Mr. Skinner, Assistant Publicity Superintendent of the Hotel Cecil, Strand, London, in 1910 or 1912; presented to the British Legation or Embassy in Stockholm by Mr. Hugo Heinemann in September 1945
    GAC number