This 1625 portrait shows politician and entrepreneur George Hay, first Earl of Kinnoull, at the age of 54, as Lord Chancellor of Scotland, holding his purse of office in his left hand.
The portrait was formerly in the collection at Yester House, Midlothian, the country seat of the Marquesses of Tweedale. The eleventh Marquess had no direct male heir, so after his death Yester House, three surrounding farms and properties in Gifford were sold (by 1968) to Dr Innes Lumsden. Lumsden held on the to the farms but sold on Yester House, with its contents, as well as various surrounding properties, to Peter Morris in 1969. Morris sold this portrait through Sotheby’s in 1974, as a work by Adam de Colone, but it was mistakenly attributed to George Jamesone when it was sold again, through Christie’s, two years later.
Another version of the portrait was formerly in the collection of Mr Drummond Hay of Leggieden, Perth, and a three-quarter length version, showing the sitter seated, was in the collection of Lady O'Neill of the Maine of Lisle Court, Pylewell Park, Hampshire, at the time this work was sold in 1976.
Portraitist Adam de Colone is thought to have been born in Scotland and was probably the son of Adrian van Son, a painter of Flemish origin, and his wife, Susanna ‘Declony’. The name ‘de Colone’ may be a version of his mother’s maiden name, used by Adam after the death of his father some time before 1610. Having trained in the Netherlands, he was employed at the court in London in 1623, when he began work on two full-length portraits of James I. As many of his clients were Scots who frequently travelled to London, it is not clear whether de Colone continued to live in London or returned to Scotland. From 1628 he is thought to have travelled on the Continent and there is no indication that he ever returned to the UK.
George Hay, 1st Earl of Kinnoull (1570-1634) Lord Chancellor of Scotland
Oil on canvas
height: 111.00 cm, width: 85.00 cm
Purchased from Christie's, 19 November 1976
tl: ÆTATIS. 54 / 1625
Collection of William George Montagu Hay, 11th Marquess of Tweeddale (1884-1967) at Yester House, Midlothian; by whose executors, sold (as part of the sale of Yester and its contents) to Dr Innes Lumsden by 1968; by whom sold (again as part of the sale of Yester and its contents) to Peter Morris in 1969; by whom sold through Sotheby's, London, on 23 January 1974 (Lot 50), for £820; from which sale purchased by G. Fenton; sold through Christie's, London, 'Important English Pictures' sale, on 19 November 1976 (Lot 6), as by 'George Jamesone'; from which sale purchased by the Department of the Environment
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