William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, Duke of Portland, and Lord Edward Bentinck, 24 June 1788
After Benjamin West PRA (1738 - 1820)
RA Collection: Art
This is a late impression of a print after West's double portrait of William Henry Cavendish Bentick, the 3rd Duke of Portland (1738-1809) and his younger brother Lord Edward Charles Bentinck (1744-1819) [private collection]. Painted in 1774 the 'Bentinck Brothers' was the earliest of West's grand portraits of the English aristocracy and its inclusion in the 1775 Royal Academy exhibition (cat. 337) may have suggested the idea to George III of commissioning royal portraits from West as well as history paintings (see von Erffa & Staley 1986, pp.544-45, no.683).
Smith's mezzotint was originally published by the engraver himself on 25 November 1774, thus pre-empting the exhibition of West's painting at the Academy by five months (see D'Oench 1999, p.25). Humphrey's reprint was first issued on 24 June 1780; the present, rather worn impression however has this publishing date carefully altered to read '24 June 1788'.
An eminent politician who twice served as Prime Minister, the 3rd Duke of Portland leased Burlington House from his brother-in-law the 5th Duke of Devonshire between the latter half of 1771 and early in 1782.
407 mm x 253 mm
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