- Museum number
Portrait of Lewis Watson, 2nd Earl of Rockingham, bust length facing right. 1734
Pen and brown ink, over black chalk
- Production date
Height: 187 millimetres
Width: 132 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Related to Rosalba's pastel portrait of Lewis Watson (c.1709-45) formerly belonging to Lord Guilford and since 2006 in the Northhampton Museum and Art Gallery (B. Sani, 'Rosalba Carriera', Turin, 1988, no. 289, fig. 255). The sitter succeeded his grandfather as 2nd Earl Rockingham in 1724, his father having died two years earlier. In 1736 he married his cousin, Katherine Furness who subsequently married the 1st Earl of Guilford. Watson was in Italy on the Grand Tour in 1733-4 and is recorded as being in Venice in June 1734 (J. Ingamells, 'A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701-1800 compiled from the Brinsley Ford Archive', New Haven and London, 1997, pp. 819-20). Rosalba's portrait is known to have been finished by 5th November 1734 as she was then instructed by Rockingham's agent, Filippe Rousseau, to ship it to England. The pastel bears an inscription on the reverse stating that it was painted in Venice in 1734.
As Francis Russell was first to recognise this is one of a handful of surviving drawings for Rosalba's pastel portraits, comparable examples formerly in Sir Brinsley Ford's collection and in the Lehman collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York are illustrated in his article. The finished nature of these works suggests that they were designed to be shown to the sitter as a guide to the appearance of the finished pastel. In the present case the correspondence between the drawing and the pastel is extremely close.
Lit.: F. Russell, 'Drawings by Rosalba', 'The Burlington Magazine', CXXIX, March 1997, p. 197, fig. 60; J. Ingamells, 'A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701-1800 compiled from the Brinsley Ford Archive', New Haven and London, 1997, p. 820; 'Acceptance in Lieu Report 2005/6', 2006, under no. 35, p. 99
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2007 June-Nov. BM, Recent Acquisitions Part I (no cat.)
2019 Feb-Apr BM, G90a, 'Ottley Group' (no cat.)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number