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File:Viscount Sydney by Gilbert Stuart.jpg

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creator QS:P170,Q4233718,P?,Q41402
Lord Viscount Sydney
Object type painting

Portrait painting of Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney (1732–1800) by the American painter Gilbert Stuart.

The sitter is portrayed life-sizeed at half-length, seated in an armchair upholstered in red and studded with small brass-headed nails, his body is nearly full-front with the head and dark brown eyes turned three-quarters left. He wears a dark green coat with a collar of black velvet, his coat being buttoned across his chest, but opened below, showing a brownish-gray waistcoat. His stock and shirt ruffles are of white muslin and his wig or hair is powdered. His face is plump and his complexion "beefy," expressing mental and physical activity with a look of hauteur. He sits beside a table covered with a varicolored cloth in which is an inkstand, two quill pens, a tray with a piece of red sealing-wax, and a packet of letters, with one unfolded. On the latter the word "London" can be deciphered. His left arm rests upon the chair arm and the left hand, partially closed, is shown, but the right hand is concealed by the table. The background is plain and of warm brownish tones.
Date circa 1785
date QS:P571,+1785-00-00T00:00:00Z/9,P1480,Q5727902
Medium oil on canvas
medium QS:P186,Q296955;P186,Q4259259,P518,Q861259
Dimensions 36 x 28 1/4 in. inside frame
institution QS:P195,Q6133813
Accession number

Call Number: DG 214

Digital Order No.: a5062002
Credit line Digital image courtesy of the Dixson Galleries, State Library of New South Wales
Inscriptions Unsigned and undated

The portrait remained with the Townshend family until the third viscount died without issue in 1890 and the title became extinct. It passed with the estates to his cousin, the Hon. Robert Marsham (1834–1915), who assumed the additional surname and arms of Townshend.

A London dealer bought the portrait at auction soon after Marsham-Townshend's death, and sold it to Herbert Lee Pratt, of the Standard Oil Co., New York. Pratt kept the portrait only a year, selling it through a dealer in 1916 to Walter Jennings, of New York.

The portrait was on loan to the Hecker Memorial Art Gallery, Long Island, New York. Walter Jennings died in 1932 and his wife in 1949. Their son, Oliver B. Jennings, sold it to the Public Library of New South Wales, now the State Library, in 1952, for 4 000 dollars – a price below its valuation. The painting was first displayed in the library in 1954.
Other versions
Engraving by John Young (1755–1825) 1stViscountSydney.jpg


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current01:18, 11 July 2016Thumbnail for version as of 01:18, 11 July 2016781 × 999 (444 KB)P. S. Burton== {{int:filedesc}} == {{Artwork |artist = {{Creator:Gilbert Stuart|attributed}} |title = ''Lord Viscount Sydney'' |description = Portrait painting of [[w:Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney|Thomas Townshend, 1st Vi...

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