George Hamilton was in his 62nd year when Martin Maingaud painted this, the primary version of his portrait, in 1724. It had passed to the sitter’s son-in-law, William McWilliam O'Brien, forth Earl of Inchiquin (1700-1777) by the time Jacob Houbraken recorded that he produced an engraving from the work for ‘Lives and Characters of Illustrious Persons’ (published 1747-52), by the biographer and compiler of histories Thomas Birch (1705-1766).
There at least three other versions of Martin Maingaud’s portrait of Orkney, some painted as late as the 1730s. Two are now in private collections, having passed through Sothey’s, Amsterdam, in 2007 and Christie’s, London, in 1961, and the third is at the National Army Museum, Surrey.
Martin Maingaud was a French portrait painter who worked from around 1692 to his death in 1725 and, for a time, was based in Munich. Little is known about his life, however his other works include portraits of ‘Princess Caroline Elizabeth’ (daughter of George II), ‘Countess Sophia of Platen and Hallemund’ and ‘General George Carpenter, first Baron Carpenter of Killaghy’.
George Hamilton, 1st Earl of Orkney (1666-1737) Field Marshal
Oil on canvas
height: 127.00 cm, width: 102.00 cm
Purchased from Roy Miles, August 1977
ins&dbl; inscribed verso on lining canvas: Lord George Hamilton Fourth Son of William Duke of Hamilton and of / Ann Dutchess [sic] of Hamilton: He Married Elizabeth Villiers, sister to the First Earl of Jersey, by / Whom he had three Daughters, Lady Ann, Lady Frances, and Lady Hariot, Lady Ann Married the / Earl of Saunderson Kt. Of the Bath, and Lady Hariot Married the Earle of Orrery: - He was Created Earle of Orkney by King William the third, the Same King Made him Collonell [sic] of the Inniskillen [sic] / Foot in Ireland and afterwards a Brigadier upon the attack of the Terra Nova at the Siege / of Namur, and Gave him the Royal Regiment of two Battallions [sic] of Scots: Towards the / Later end of Queen Ann’s Warr [sic] he was made General of the Foot one of the Privy / Councill [sic] and Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Thistle; and For his Gallant and / Eminent Services at Blenheim, was appointed [sic] Governour [sic] of Virginia and Constable of Edinburgh Castle, all which he held till his Death: He was by King George 1st. Made / Gentleman of the Bed Chamber & one of the Privy Councill [sic], and was to have Comanded [sic] / in chief, 1000, English that were to go to assist the Dutch; and by King George, 2d. / he was made Field Marshal; the first that ever was so call’d in England, / From the Union, he was Chosen every Parli.t one of the Sixteen Peers from / Scotland: This Picture was Drawn for him in his 62d. year, he Dyed [sic] / January 29th 1737 in the 73 [text altered to ’72?’] year of his age, Buried with his wife and his / Daughter the Countess of orrery, in Taplow Church, together with [‘Noe’ crossed through] Nine / Children of the Earle of Inchiquin: / Maingaud P:t / 1724
Collection of George Hamilton, Earl of Orkney (1666-1737) Field Marshal; by descent to [the sitter's son-in-law] William McWilliam O'Brien, 4th Earl of Inchiquin (1700-1777); sold through Christie's, London, on 4 June 1976 (Lot 168); with Roy Miles; from whom purchased by the Department of the Environment in July 1977
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