Follow, share and connect through art

Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford (1765-1802) agriculturalist and politician

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Downing Street

    This bust of Francis Russell presents the Duke according to the taste of the day. The relatively close-cropped hair and draped fabric demonstrate the influence of antique Roman sculpture.

    In 1802 Russell commissioned a bust of Charles James Fox (1749-1806) from Joseph Nollekens, rejecting the sculptor's earlier version, with curled hair and a pigtail, in favour a of a more classical design. The bust was placed alongside six others in the Temple of Liberty at Russell's country residence, Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire. Nollekens was a close friend of Russell's wife and left a considerable sum of money to their son, Francis Russell Palmer, in his will.

  • About the artist
    Joseph Nollekens, son of Joseph Francis Nollekens, a painter from Antwerp, was born in Dean Street, Soho. He studied under the sculptor Peter Scheemakers, before attending William Shipley’s drawing school on the Strand. In 1762 he travelled to Rome where he worked as an antiques dealer, restorer and copier, as well as sculpting portraits of English tourists. By 1771, he had returned to London and taken a house in Mortimer Street, Marylebone. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1772. He sculpted several church monuments and mythological subjects but it was his portrait busts which grew in popularity throughout his career. His final years were plagued by ill health and by 1816 he was almost deaf. He died at the age of 85.
  • Explore
    Russell, Francis, 5th Duke of Bedford
    Materials & Techniques
    marble, bust (as object name), marble bust
  • Details
    Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford (1765-1802) agriculturalist and politician
    Marble bust
    height: 60.00 cm
    Purchased from Gerald Kerin, June 1949
    verso: Nollekens Ft. 1807
    Earl of Jersey Collection; purchased from Gerald Kerin 1949
    GAC number