Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (1676-1745) Prime Minister

  • About the work

    Interpretation about this artwork is under review

    The Government Art Collection recognises its responsibility to artists, colleagues and all our audiences to represent the diversity of the UK and to embed anti-racist and equitable practices throughout our work. We are taking action to address inequality in the Collection and its interpretation.

    This portrait is a three-quarter length version of the full-length original, from the sitter's collection, painted in 1740 and now in the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Many other versions exist, including two in the Government Art Collection.

  • About the artist
    Jean Baptiste van Loo was born in Aix-en-Provence to a family of Flemish painters. He worked in the south of France until 1714, when he travelled to northern Italy and Rome, and settled in Paris in 1720. While in Paris, he established himself as a portrait painter in the circle of the Regent, Philippe d'Orléans, and also painted a portrait of Louis XV. In 1731, he became a member of the Académie Royale. In 1737, van Loo moved to England, where he was patronised by Prime Minister Robert Walpole. In 1742, after a year’s ill-health, van Loo returned to Aix and his later life was divided between Paris and Aix. Today, his works are in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, London; the Louvre, Paris; and the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.
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  • Details
    Title
    Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (1676-1745) Prime Minister
    Date
    c.1740
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 127.00 cm, width: 101.50 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Hermann Schwerbrock, January 1985
    Provenance
    Collection of Hermann Schwerbrock; from whom purchased by the Government Art Collection in January 1985
    GAC number
    16329