Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Bust of Bonnie Prince Charlie - Charles Edward Stuart - by Lemoyne

Bust of Bonnie Prince Charlie -
Charles Edward Stuart -
The Young Pretender (1720 - 88)
by Jean Baptiste Lemoyne the Younger (1704 - 78).
Gilt Plaster
From a lost original in clay.
National Trust Collection - Sizergh Castle
Height approx. 50 cms.
Another identical is in the National Gallery of Scotland dated 1746, and another in the Drambui Collection
For an excellent overview of the portraiture see - Bonnie Prince Charlie and the making of a Myth: A Study in portraiture 1720.... Robin Nicholson pub.2002. I have culled the information below from this publication
The Prince himself noted in 1747 that "it was much admired for being singularly like"
There are contemporary mentions of two marble versions. Lemoyne was paid 2,400 livres for the basic commission and a total of 8,000 livres for the versions.
Dr William King who entertained at tea the Prince on an incognito visit to London writes in his anecdotes "As to his person he is tall and well made, but stoops a little, owing to the great fatigue which he underwent in his northern expedition. He has a handsome face and good eyes. I think his busts which about this time were commonly sold in London are more like him than any of his pictures which I have yet seen".
A footnote adds "He came one evening to my lodgings and drank tea with me; my servant after he was gone said to me ' that he thought my visitor very like Prince Charles. Why I said have you ever seen Prince Charles. "No Sir" replied the fellow "but this gentleman whoever he may be exactly resembles the busts which are sold in Red Lion Street and are said to be Prince Charles" Red Lion Street is between Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn in London

Image Courtesy Tomasso Brothers

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