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Admiral Richard Howe, 1726-99, 1st Earl Howe

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich
Gallery locationQH (Floor plans)
PeopleDepiction: Howe, Richard

Object details:

Object ID BHC2790
Description A half-length full-face portrait within a somewhat crudely executed painted circle. The sitter wears admiral's undress uniform, 1787-95 pattern, of a blue jacket with gold braid and his own white hair. On 1 June 1794, in command of the Channel Fleet, he won the first fleet engagement of the French Revolutionary War, over 400 miles west of Ushant. The French were badly beaten with one ship sunk and six captured but the important grain convoy from America, which they had sailed to protect and the British to attack, slipped through to Brest. It was Lord Howe's last sea service. The artist painted three copies of this portrait so that each of the sitter's daughters could have one. This one is thought to have belonged to the third daughter. The prime version was painted, with a pendant pair of Admiral Samuel Barrington, to flank a panoramic painting of Howe's 'Relief of Gibraltar', 1782, all three originally being part of the presentation of Copley's vast painting of the 'Siege of Gibraltar' now in the Guildhall Art Gallery. The American-born artist was active as a portrait painter in Boston until 1774. After a year of study in Italy and following the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775, he settled in London, where he spent the rest of his life. There he continued to paint portraits and innovatively combine portraiture with history painting. His intellectually gifted son (who had the same first names) was a lawyer and politician who served three terms as Lord Chancellor of England, and beame first Baron Lyndhurst.
Date made 1794

Artist/Maker Copley, John Singleton
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 772 mm x 777 mm; Frame: 997 mm x 996 mm x 126 mm; Overall: 26.6 kg
  • Admiral Richard Howe, 1726-99, 1st Earl Howe (BHC2790)
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