Photo credit: Historic Environment Scotland
This bust and its pair by the same sculptor in the same collection (accession number DC10.1: https://bit.ly/2x5ugUz ) are both listed as 20th century, which is not possible unless they are copies of 19th century originals (the sculptor died in 1884). If they are copies, that needs to be stated; otherwise, the date needs to be corrected to 19th century.
More important, if my suspicion proves correct, is that this pair of busts appears to have been misidentified as Edward and Alexandra.
Ewing is known to have made busts of the couple as Prince and Princess of Wales in 1869, when they were in their twenties, but those busts are in the collection of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow and currently located in the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre in Nitshill, as confirmed to me by Dr Joanna Meacock, Curator of British Art there. They are linked below:
Thus, the busts at Duff House are clearly not the busts known to have been made by Ewing in 1869. It is not out of the question that he could have made a different pair of busts of the same couple, but I have found no mention of another pair, and the Duff House busts do not look like Edward and Alexandra to my eye. Considering the evident age of the Duff "Edward," he should certainly have facial hair (as in the 1869 bust), and Alexandra should have a longer, narrower face, a smaller nose and less pedestrian eyes.
One obviously needs to see the back of these busts to inspect for any inscribed names and/or dates, and the currently available images do not allow that. Neither entry specifies that the busts are signed or dated, and the basis for the given date of 20th century is unclear. It would be most helpful if the collection could clarify all this.
As an aside, there are many unattributed busts on Art UK for which no image of the back is available, and I expect a number of them are indeed signed and thus attributable to a specific sculptor.
I could be mistaken, but the man's hair seems to correspond to c. 1830s, which would obviously exclude Prince Edward.
Of course, if the male bust is 1830s, it could not be by Ewing (b. 1828).
Both of the Kelvingrove/Glagow busts are signed EWING FECIT / LONDON 1869. Thus, if the Duff House busts are by Ewing, they should be comparably signed.
A biography of Ewing, who worked mainly in Glasgow:
It is very disappointing that these Duff House busts / sculptures on Art UK have no rear view among their group of images. Is this because they've not yet been uploaded, or were pennies pinched by taking only four shots instead of, say, six or eight? Or perhaps it was that were no "appropriately-trained staff" to turn them round...yup, that's my guess. If so we are unlikely to learn what's there any time soon.
I don't think the date is as early as 1830s, Jacinto - it looks more like early/mid Victorian to me. I also don't think the two busts are really a pair - the man's is two inches higher than the woman's, his breadth is clearly greater (though we don't have width measurements), and the socles are slightly different.
Osmund, I agree they may not be a pair, and the female bust may be later. Of course, the critical next step is finding out what is on the back of each bust, although they might not be signed, after all.
I share your frustration over lack of photos, but this is a very common problem, as I commented previously (and occasionally, there are suitable photos with a signature, yet the bust is still unattributed because nobody noticed or pursued it).
I suppose our bent for proper identification, attribution and dating may seem excessive to some, like a kind of trainspotting, and connoisseurship is hardly fashionable these days (and I mean in the art world). It is certainly not the priority it once was.
To illustrate my point, just today I found a bust in Wales by "unknown artist" with proper photos, one of them showing a signature and date--by a known sculptor whose entry in the Mapping Sculpture database mentions the very bust and the year it was first exhibited (same year as inscribed on the bust). A proposal has already been submitted to Art UK (I may be the death of poor Marion, I'm afraid).
In other words, our standards are more rigorous than some.
The 1869 busts of Edward & Alexandra at Glasgow (Kelvingrove Colln) are also different in size and socle design, so I could be wrong about our two busts not being a pair.
However, I'm attaching side-by-side images of both pairs; before joining each I adjusted the image dimensions of the busts according to their published heights to show their (approximate) correct relative sizes. As you can see, the size difference in our (Duff House) ‘pair’ is much greater than it is for the true Edward & Alexandra pair at Glasgow – Alexandra in the latter is also clothed in a cloak that echoes Edward’s classical drapery. So although it cannot be ruled out completely, to my eye our two male/female busts don’t seem to belong together as convincingly.
I quite agree, Osmund, that the Duff busts are unlikely to be a true pair, and I still think the female bust is probably later (closer to the time of the real Alexandra bust) than the male.
The Duff male bust, in terms of date (and hair), reminds me of this:
Of course, ours is an older man, who may still be wearing his hair as in his youth, but I expect the male bust is probably too early for Ewing.
Also, though this is subjective, the handling of drapery (by Ewing) in the Glasgow busts seems sharper, more angular or more starched than in the Duff male bust, again arguing against Ewing.
The Duff House estate papers may include inventories .The papers in part are in Special Collections, Aberdeen University Library
The family also owned Mar Lodge.
If this is one of the Earls of Fife - he would by the 7th - James 1814-79
Martin, the James Duff you mention was 5th Earl of Fife. The 6th earl became Duke of Fife, and I don't think there was a 7th earl after that.
Timothy Stevens points out that there is an earlier much less know Ewing active as a sculptor, friend of Keats and Joseph Severn - he will look at the images
Gunnis mispells his name as Ewings
Do we have any idea if there is a serious reason to think that the sculptor's surname is EWING?
William Ewing is said to have been active in the 1820s. He does not appear (as either Ewing or Ewings) in the Mapping Sculpture database because it covers a later period (1851-1951). Here is a sample:
As for the Duff busts under discussion, we do not know at this time how or even if they are signed, or what is the basis for their attribution or for the identification of the sitters.
Martin, we are not even certain that this (and the other bust at Duff House listed as by him https://bit.ly/2x5ugUz) are by *any* Ewing at all.
To begin to understand our lack of confidence in the attribution, you have to read the other, long discussion (https://bit.ly/2WRTCQD) about the bust by Alexander Brodie also at Duff House (Historic Environment Scotland). That threw up along the way a bust by John Steell of the Prince of Wales (https://bit.ly/3dCBd02, now correctly renamed) that was misidentified as James Duff, 1814–1879, 5th Earl of Fife, artist unknown. We think it is possible (but not certain) that the identities of the true P. of Wales bust and the one that is the subject of the other discussion may have been confused - certainly the latter is *not* of the P. of Wales, though currently still listed as such. We were at least able to be sure of the correct artist in both cases, because there are rear images on Art UK showing the signature (and for one the date).
In the case of the two busts under discussion here, we don't know what to think. The sitters' identities are clearly wrong in both cases; and either the artist or the approx date ("20th C") must also be wrong. And there are no rear images of signatures available to help us know if the artist listed is the correct one or not. To put it bluntly, the wholesale mix-up with the other two busts, and the incorrect identities/dates given to these two, has sewed the seeds of doubt about *anything* recorded for sculptures at Duff House/HES!
All of this has the potential to be sorted out by (a) a double-check of the records associated with the works and their loan (perhaps from Nat Galleries Scotland, whence most items apparently derive), and/or (b) the simpler expedient of someone going to look at the back of these two busts. Unfortunately the current public health crisis means that neither solution is likely to be possible in the foreseeable future, and further research may be futile as we could be researching the wrong things altogether.
The very different styles of these two busts confirms the belief stated above by Jacinto that the two bust are not by the same sculptor, as does their rather marked difference in quality. I share his doubts that they are the same date too.
As I suggested in the other discussion- this bust is probably Princess Louise- the wife if the 5th Duke.
Louis, perhaps I did not understand your last comment, or perhaps you meant to link something else, but the bust you linked is the one of Alexandra in Glasgow, signed by Ewing and dated 1869. It cannot be Princess Louise, who was born in 1867.
I now assume, Louis, that you meant to link the "Alexandra" bust at Duff House: https://bit.ly/2x5ugUz
However, I doubt that is Princess Louise, who had a thinner, narrower face and different features, and I don't believe she ever wore her hair that way. It seems more plausible, though hardly certain, that she might be Agnes, Countess of Fife (1829-69), wife of the 5th earl.
Duff House opened to the public in 1995 after the building was restored . It was fitted out under the direction of Timothy Clifford. There was an article published to celebrate this which might throw light on the sources of those works of art which were not lent by the National Galleries of Scotland. There should be files held in the National Gallery of Scotland's archive which should provide more detailed information . as will the archives of Historic Environment Scotland and of Aberdeenshire Council , partners in this enterprise
The article may have been published in Country Life
Timothy Stevens suggests following up all the above.
Aha - my mistake- I hadn't realised the bust was dated 1869- but I was thinking of Princess Louise who married the !st Duke of Fife ( not the 5th -another little mistake :-( ) who bears a remarkable likeness to this bust- mind you thats not surprising as they were all related in those times.
A specialist in fashions of hair could help us over approximates dates for these busts
The two busts in question are signed by Ewing and dated 1868 (see Stephen Lloyd, Duff House. Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture, National Galleries of Scotland (1999). Lloyd proposes that they were 'probably' exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1869 (nos 1217 & 1219). This does pose problems as neither bear any resemblance to the proposed sitters, although the attributions to the Prince and Princess of Wales, based on the RA entries, made their purchase for Duff House by the National Galleries of Scotland reasonable. They were after all, the parents-in-law of the 6th Earl of Fife, and regular visitors to Duff. From 1883 the Prince of Wales had his own room at Duff on the First Floor or piano nobile, and enjoyed 'excellent' autumn shooting on the estate.
Katharine, the Ewing busts exhibited at the RA in 1869 of the Prince and Princess of Wales were the ones now in Glasgow, linked above. The Glasgow Museums entry for the bust of Edward specifically says "in 1869 this sculpture was exhibited in London at the Royal Academy of Arts (no. 1217)" in the description:
The true Edward and Alexandra busts by Ewing went to Glasgow very early, in 1870, where they have apparently been ever since.
And by the way, I wish to explicitly thank Dr. Joanna Meacock, the relevant Glasgow curator, for her very prompt and most helpful reply to my initial query, including links to detailed collection entries with images, as neither of these busts is in the Art UK database yet.
And Katharine, is it certain that *both* of these Duff busts are signed by Ewing and dated 1868?
And Agness Duff wife of the 5th Earl doesn't look anything like our female bust either.
And Alexandra of Danemark - the Princess of Wales in late 1860's doesn't look like our bust- the ear lobes are wrong ! :-) .
Oh -and Princess Louise who married the 1st Duke (6th Earl) of Fife and who looks like our bust was a Princess of Wales.
Louis, do you have a link to an image of Agnes, Countess of Fife? I have not found one, and her appearance is obviously of interest.
And while it makes no real difference, Princess Louise was Princess Royal, not Princess of Wales.
Is this the lady in question? Her hairstyle is somewhat similar to that in the bust.
Yes, Barbara, that's the countess in question, who died at 40 in 1869. However, her face seem chubbier and "weaker" than that of our bust. Also, if the bust was not native to Duff House but acquired as a supposed Alexandra, it is even less likely that it would be of Agnes.
Furthermore, the "lost" bust of Agnes (or at least the one we know about) was made by Alexander Brodie, who also made busts of her husband and her daughter Anne. The female bust under discussion here is reportedly signed by George Edwin Ewing.
Jacinto- Louise wasn't made Princess Royal till 1905-- up till then she was Princess of Wales- here is link to an artwork-painting by Sydney Prior Hall -of her marriage which calls her Louise Princess of Wales.It is all very involved and complicated isn't it !?
Louis, she was never 'Louise, Princess of Wales' (which would mean the wife of the Prince of Wales), she was before her marriage 'Princess Louise of Wales' (which means the daughter of the Prince of Wales). It is important to read and copy the details carefully, or you will not only confuse yourself but other people too.
I am baffled by your idea that this could be her - I see no resemblance, and our sitter is clearly of a previous generation. If you've found any images that support the idea, do please share them.
Francis Grant's portrait, on which the print posted by Barbara is based, dates from c.1862-63. The one from the Royal Collection is dated 1859. Attached are two more images from 1863. As Jacinto says, she died in Dec 1869 aged just 40; but press reports indicate she had been in poor health since at least the mid-1860s.
Although she is of the right generation, I'm afraid that again I can see no resemblance bar a slight one to one aspect of the hairstyle; and it seems most unlikely that she'd have sat for two different busts by two different sculptors in well under a decade.
Our lady looks like she was made of sterner stuff, so to speak. I do not believe she is Agnes. Needless to say, if the bust is dated 1868, she cannot possibly be Louise of Wales, who was born in 1867.
There are piccies of Louise Princess of wales available- here is one. BTW - I got the impression from posts above that there is some confusion about the date of this female bust.Anyway to me Louise looks very like our bust- face- set of the shoulders and of course the Ears .. just that the bust would have had to be made about 1890ish. Haven't found another female yet in the Fife family that bears a resemblance.
Louis, if you compare the photo of Louise (of which there are many at the NPG) with image #4 of our bust (a close-up of the face), you will see that Louise had a generally more refined or delicate face: longer and narrower, with a smaller mouth, a thinner nose, less prominent forehead and less prominent eyebrows. I don't believe she ever wore such a braid as in our bust. As I noted previously, as per Katharine Eustace above, the bust is dated 1868, in which case it absolutely cannot be Louise, who was then one year of age.
As for another Fife family female, I doubt our bust is of a woman related to said family. It sounds as if it was never connected to Duff House until acquired for it in the belief it represented Alexandra.
Sorry to bang on, but she is/was not 'Louise Princess of Wales' but 'Princess Louise of Wales'. You may well think such distinctions are absurd; but as I've explained above, in the context of research they are important and convey a precise, historically-important meaning.
There is little point in only looking for suitable candidates in the Duff/Fife family - as Jacinto says, there is no reason to believe the two busts came from them at all. Katharine Eustace, in her post above, makes clear that they did not come with Duff House, but were purchased for it by the National Galleries of Scotland (under the mistaken impression they were of the Prince & Princess of Wales).
Leaving aside the rather surprising lapse in art historical expertise that led the NGS to believe that they *were* of Edward and Alexandra, it would be good to see the full entry in Stephen Lloyd's 'Catalogue of Paintings and Sculptures at Duff House' (NGS 1999 - IBAN 9780903598873). Perhaps, too, the same work may shed light on the mystery of the Alexr Brodie bust in the other Duff House discussion (https://bit.ly/2X2oz4z)? Copies of the catalogue are in many libraries, including the NAL (https://bit.ly/2ykKaL9) - but although the V&A is just 20 minutes from me, in current circumstances it might as well be in Jakarta.
I gather Katharine may be too busy with other important matters to deal with this at the moment - does anyone else have ready access to it? Or as Dr Lloyd himself is still active, though no longer at NGS (he's Curator of the Derby Collection at Knowsley), I wonder if he might be receptive to a request for help - what do you think, Marion?
I quite agree, Osmund. I'd like confirmation that *both* of these Duff busts are signed by Ewing and dated 1868--and even if they are, that does not prove they were a husband & wife pair.
And Osmund, the lapse was not so much in art historical expertise but in simply looking at the busts to ascertain they were indeed of Edward and Alexandra. It seems clear they (and presumably the seller) relied more or less blindly on the recorded fact that Ewing showed the *real* Prince and Princess of Wales pair at the RA in 1869.
I am not following this discussion in great detail (as it is not my group to moderate) but has this photo been seen yet?
It is the vestibule of Duff House in the 1870s and seems to show the bust of the stern lady in question on a table (at least that is how I read it--Osmund, Jacinto you may come to correct me), but if that is the case then the female bust in this discussion was part of the collection in the 19C and thus may be a member of the Fife family or at least some sort of connection. The bust to the left appears to be the subject of the parallel discussion of the faux Edward VII which also confirms Osmund's suggestion that this one came with the house. And there is another female bust on pedestal which may be its pair.
Barbara, in your photo, the bust at left matches the faux Edward VII (and potential 5th Earl of Fife) bust by Brodie in the other discussion, the female bust at right matches the Brodie bust presumed to be of his daughter, Lady Anne, and the female bust in the center may be the "lost" Brodie bust of Agnes, Countess of Fife. However, said center bust does not, to my eye, match the faux Alexandra by Ewing in this discussion. Its base is box-like, not a round socle, and the outline of the head is different (meaning different hair style and possibly a tiara). Still, great find.
Also, the faux Alexandra's head is turned slightly right, while the central head in the photo seems to be turned slightly left.
Here, again, is the presumed Lady Anne by Brodie:
Barbara, that is a wonderful find, if rather frustrating in its low-resolution - where did you find it?
I agree that the left-hand bust looks like it could well be the one by Alexander Brodie (signed & dated 1861) that's the subject of the other discussion (https://bit.ly/2UBkti2), and logically one would expect the other one on a pedestal to be the sitter's wife (and that they're quite probably the 5th Earl & Countess).
Like Jacinto, I am not convinced that the one on the table is the woman under discussion here. The image is not clear enough to be certain, but the head/hair outline seems somewhat different - and though the basic bust shape is similar, the socle is of a wholly different design.
Jacinto and Osmund, I knew you find that image interesting. I can't take entire credit as I took a cue from one of Martin H.'s earlier comments so you can work that out. As a Scottish historic house, there should be records somewhere of the original. But we are not going to get any of that soon, hence trying to use what can be accessed online is worth doing. I was reaching for an answer to our current discussion and knew that I was leaping forward a bit so quite rightly you have been strict about it. But it's all good for the discussion, isn't it?
It is very good for the discussion on the Brodie male bust, certainly, since it means it came with the house and adds weight to the theory that it is the fifth Earl Fife.
Osmund, I have very little doubt that the bust at right in Barbara's photo is the "immodest" Lady Anne. One can just make it out, but there is the same bare right shoulder and serpentine falling hair.
It helps, by the way, to enlarge Barbara's photo by 200-300% (the resolution is still poor, but one can get a somewhat better view).
As for the 'Catalogue of Paintings and Sculptures at Duff House,' probably the only person who has ready access to that now is its author, so contacting Dr Lloyd sounds like a capital idea. He might be able to shed significant light on the two busts under discussion and possibly the other faux Edward VII (by Brodie) at Duff House.
Jacinto, I wouldn't leap too quickly to the conclusion that the bust of Lord Fife (if, indeed, that's who it is) has remained at Duff House throughout - it is perfectly possible, even likely that it left the house with the family in the early 1900s (as the other two Brodie busts must have done), but was restored to it later on loan (having perhaps been sold in between). I am not as certain as you are that the one on the right-hand pedestal is Lady Anne Duff, but it could well be. And on reflection the arrangement makes sense if the photo does date from the 1870s, as by then the Countess was dead. The bust on the console table behind, raised on some sort of plinth, and with what looks like two framed photographs in front of it, could easily be interpreted as a sort of shrine to her.
But we really shouldn't discuss the busts of the Earl, the Countess and their daughter Anne here - it will only cause confusion. I suggest that we re-post the Duff House photograph found by Barbara on the other discussion, together with a precis of the comments already made on it vis-a-vis the Brodie busts, and continue our conversation over there.
In Barbara's photo-The middle bust is not the female bust under discussion here ( still think that looks like Princess Louise ! ) - different shape- the blured image in the photo does seem to suggest the appearance of Agnes Countess Fife- especially the hair and it's headband.
Barbara-or anyone else-- any chance of image inhancement software?
I have followed your suggestion, Osmund, and posted a comment (to which you may add) in the other discussion.
Katharine Eustace been in touch with Stephen Lloyd, Tim Clifford, Anne Buddle and Robert Wenley, all of who were around in the 1990s in the institutions in question. She intends to write a summary of portrait busts at Duff, which will still leave some unanswered questions, but will help to resolve some areas of speculation. I'd like to thank Kate very much for sending us the relevant page in Stephen Lloyd, ‘Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture at Duff House’ (attached).
So, they are both signed and dated, meaning they are both 1868 works by Ewing, but they are not the Ewing busts of the Prince and Princess of Wales shown at the RA in 1869, linked above, which are in Glasgow and have been there since 1870.
Although this bust and its associated partner feature in Stephen Lloyd's ‘Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture at Duff House’, Jacinto's original question still remains unanswered. Were these busts mis-identified and ended up in the collecting titled as Edward and Alexandra, even though they are of others? Judging by the attached composite, it seems highly unlike, as Osmund points out above, that the sitters could have changed so much in just one year.
Here is an 1868 photo with Edward at right foreground, with a beard:
Aug 1867 https://bit.ly/2URUaV3; Sep 1868 https://bit.ly/39SiV80; Apr 1869 https://bit.ly/39YmGZs & https://bit.ly/2xYTFQ3.
There are countless other photographs in the Royal Collection of both Edward and Alexandra at various dates and ages, and in none of them does either look remotely like these two sitters at any age. As his actual busts of the Royal couple show, Ewing was an accomplished sculptor, and it is inconceivable that our two are meant to represent either of them at any stage in their lives, before or after 1868, and he with or without a beard (which the NGS's Mar Lodge group shows he'd begun to grow by Aug 1863).
We now know from Katharine Eustace and the catalogue that the busts were acquired by NGS specifically for Duff House, under the impression that they were of the Prince and Princess of Wales - the Prince had a strong friendship with the 5th Earl and Countess of Fife, and was a regular visitor to their homes in both London and Scotland (including Duff House where he apparently had his own room).
I feel that no more time need be wasted on demonstrating that the supposed identities are likely wrong - for me it is a matter already beyond doubt. Our research must now focus on possible alternative sitters.
Our male bust- could it be Lord Byron- cos the hair is just like in the busts and portraits of him??? And some of his portraits look quite like this bust facewise!
Which means, Osmund, focusing on Ewing's exhibition history (if applicable) and/or known sitters for the date in question.
Louis, the man is too old for Byron, who also had very curly hair:
Jacinto- sometimes his hair was curly- and sometimes just wavy-I suppose it depended whether or not he had put his curlers in the night before :-) -- and he died aged 36, which I think is within the range of this male bust.
Presumably there are records related to the purchase or acquisition of these two busts for Duff House, evidently made under false assumptions about the identity of the sitters. That may or may not yield useful information, but it should be looked into.
In any event, the currently given date of 20th century in both Art UK entries is clearly an error, since both busts are reportedly signed and dated 1868.
When I said 'research' I meant research, not throwing into the ring the name of one of the most famous people in the world, whose appearance is incredibly well-known, whose every image has been researched and picked over for nearly 200 years, as has every detail of his life...and who died 44 years before the date of the bust (and before the artist was even born). A posthumous likeness, you perhaps think. OK...but then you have to make a much, much, MUCH better case than "looks quite like".
Well, I've just run across what appears to be another faux Alexandra bust in another collection, but that will have to wait its turn. Still, one would think her face was distinctive enough that simply looking at the bust would suffice, but it seems some people don't look properly or rely unduly on non-visual data, misleading though it may be.
Louis, with a respectful suggestion, as Lord Byron died in 1824 it is most probable that this discussion's bust by Ewing, dated 1868, is not of the poet. A more fruitful route to its identity might lie in discovering all available information about anyone who sat to Ewing in 1867 or 1868. That, perhaps, will yield a more likely result. To that end I hope to post a list of known sitters later this evening or tomorrow.
Good news, Kieran (and thank you for your kinder response than mine). I, too, have been working at known sitters, and looking for images of them, but will happily leave it to you to produce a comprehensive list. Needless to say none of the faces and/or ages of known sitters I've found so far are even a possible match. Currently working on the BNA for mention of further sitters, but I imagine you have been too.
Looking for known sitters c. 1868 is no doubt the best approach, but NGS records of acquisition for these busts might prove useful (though NGS must have believed it was getting the busts which were, and remain, in Glasgow).
It is not my intention to induce going off on a tangent concerning another bust which needs to be addressed separately, but just for the sake of some quarantine entertainment (of sorts), here is another faux Alexandra (already reported for investigation):
Here is the list of Ewing's works that I have found, with references for the years 1868, 1869 and 1870, these years included as a work created in 1868 could have had an exhibition life of a few years and also, though completed in 1869 or 1870, MIGHT have been dated to reflect the beginning of the sculpting process rather than its completion. It is by no means definitive, and no doubt other works will emerge. However, it is a start.
• Greenock Advertiser - Saturday 2nd February 1867
See attached notice regarding the nature of Ewing’s practice at the start of 1867.
• Tuesday 21 January 1868 - Banffshire Journal and General Advertiser
“The North British Daily Mail of Tuesday last notices that Mr. Ewing, sculptor, Glasgow, has just completed a bust in marble of William Burns, Esq., Glasgow, well known all over the kingdom as the indomitable champion of Scottish rights.”
• Friday 06 March 1868 - Glasgow Evening Citizen
“Mr. G. E. Ewing, Sculptor - We are please to learn that his Grace the Duke of Sutherland has marked his appreciation of Mr. Ewing’s bust of himself by commissioning his to execute a bust of her Grace the Duchess of Sutherland.”
• Thursday 05 March 1868 - Newcastle Journal
“Reference having been made to a bust of Mr. Robert Ingham., M.P. (by Mr. Ewing), of Glasgow), presented to the Council by a number of gentlemen...”
• June 1868 - Royal Academy exhibition
976 - William Just, Esq., Liverpool, marble
1004 - The Hon. Mrs. Hanbury-Lennox, marble
1046 - Angus Turner, Esq., Town Clerk of the City of Glasgow, marble
• Thursday 24th September 1868 - Glasgow Evening Citizen
“Honour to a Glasgow Artist - Mr. G. E. Ewing, of this city, left this morning for Dunrobin Castle, where he is to have the honour of sittings from the Prince of Wales for a bust of his Royal Highness.”
• Tuesday 26th January 1869 - Glasgow Evening Citizen
“Burns’ Anniversary - Waverley Burns Club Dinner - The hall was tastefully decorated for the occasion, and behind the chair was erected an admirable statuette of Burns by Mr. Ewing.”
• Monday 1st February 1869 - Glasgow Evening Citizen
“Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts - 8th annual exhibition - In the part of the East Room set aside for sculpture will be found....several works by...G. E. Ewing.”
• Monday 08 March 1869 - Glasgow Evening Citizen
“Glasgow Fine-Art Institute - East Gallery - The ‘Marble Bust of the Duke of Sutherland’ (No. 722) is here; as are also his models of ‘Prince Victor (No. 737), executed in marble for the Princess of Wales, and of ‘The Lady Alexndra Gower’ (No. 738), youngest daughter of the Duke of Sutherland’. Mr Ewing is further finely represented by a ‘Posthumous Bust of the late Dr. McKenzie’ (No. 716), a head of surpassing intellectual power; by a marble bust of ‘Mrs. Rainey’ (No. 718); and by the ‘Original Model of the late Mr. James Stevenson’ (No. 729), afterwards executed in bronze for the Jarrow Chemical Works.”
• May 1869 - Royal Academy exhibition
1155 - The Duke of Sutherland, K.G., marble
1217 - H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, marble
1219 - H.R.H. the Princess of Wales, marble
1296 - Lady Alexander (sic) Gower, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland
• 3rd May 1869 - North British Daily Mail, Monday 3rd May 1869
See attached for the Royal Academy review of Ewing’s submissions
• Saturday 22nd May 1869 - Watford Observer
(Royal Academy review) “Why could not Mr. Ewing have modelled his bust of the Prince of Wales (1217) something like the original.”
• Tuesday 25th May 1869 - Wester Mail
(Royal Academy review) “We cannot speak highly of Mr. Ewing’s “Prince and Princess of Wales”
• Saturday 26th June 1869 - The Illustrated London News
(Royal Academy review) “The value of much good workmanship in Mr. Ewing’s busts of the Prince and Princess of Wales (1217 and 1219) is much diminished by the evidently self-conscious aim at a sort of heroic idealisation - a form of flattery which, if it has not wholly defeated itself, as flattery generally does, has very unjustifiably sacrificed traits and characteristics of the Prince which by no means have been or nor to have been sacrificed.”
• Daily Telegraph & Courier (London) - Wednesday 21 July 1869
“Mr. G. E. Ewing, as very rising Scottish sculptor, has achieved a legitimate success in (1155), a marble effigy of the Duke of Sutherland.”
• 4th February 1870 - Glasgow Herald
See attached regarding the presentation of Ewing’s busts of the Prince and Princess of Wales
• Saturday 26th march - Renfrewshire Independent
In its review of the exhibition at the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, the following six busts by Ewing are mentioned:
1. The Prince of Wales
2. The Princess of Wales
3. Sir James Campbell
4. John McGavin
5. Arthur Alison
6. Professor W. J. Macquorn Rankine
• 10th August 1870 - Glasgow Herald
“Engineers and Shipbuilders’ Conference - Conversazione at the Corporation Halls - Mr. Rowan, President of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders, then came forward to make the presentation. By way of preface, he stated that the marble bust of Dr. Rankine, which was regarded by all as a striking likeness and a superior work of art, had been executed by Mr. G. E. Ewing, a native of Glasgow, who studied under the celebrated sculptor, Mr. Gibson, in Rome. Mr. Ewing had already executed busts of the Prince of Wales and other members of the Royal family, the Duke of Sutherland etc......”
• 20th August 1870 - Public Opinion, Volume 18, page 242
“Mr G. E. Ewing, sculptor, has had the honour of a final sitting for a bust of his Serene Highness, the Prince of Teck, which, with busts of Price Adolphus and Princess Victoria Mary, the children of the Prince and Princess of Teck, he has just completed.”
Thursday 22 December 1870 - Glasgow Evening Citizen
“George Edwin Ewing, sculptor, to erect a studio in Hope Street.”
Very good work, Kieran. The busts of the Prince and Princess of Wales are, of course, the 1869 busts in Glasgow--which are, in fact, somewhat mannered.
Based on photographs at the NPG, our busts do not appear to be of the (3rd) Duke and Duchess of Sutherland (and both of their daughters were too young in 1868 for our female bust).
William Burns, Esq. (1809-76) is unlikely:
Robert Ingham, MP (1793-1875) was too old in 1868 to be our man.
The bust of Professor W J MacQuorn Rankine is in the Hunterian Art Gallery , University of Glasgow, which also owns his busts of Professor Hugh Blackburn of 1869 and of Thomas Stillie, images of which can be found d on the Hunteran Art Gallery's search the collection site
The bust is not likely to be of Angus Turner (1801 - 1876), who would have been 67 in 1868.
The Walker Art Gallery has some of Ewing's busts including that of James Newlands, Liverpool's Borough Engineer
The 1868 busts of William Lust and the Hon. Mrs. Hanbury-Lennox would seem to be of particular interest.
Here's an 1875 portrait of John McGavin:
There's a Sir James Campbell (1790-1876), Lord Provost of Glasgow, who would be too old for our bust:
Prof W. J. Macquorn Rankine (1820-72), portrait here:
More on Macquorn Rankine, but he's unlikely:
Prince Francis of Teck (1837-1900) is also unlikely, given his moustache, and he was probably too young in 1868 to be our man:
It is, of course, possible that our busts were not officially exhibited.
Dr McKenzie should be William McKenzie (1791-1868), a prominent Glasgow ophthalmologist, too old to be our man:
Charles Tennant, Esq. (1823-1906) of Glen Peebleshire, shown in 1870, was later MP for Glasgow and became a baronet in 1885:
His 1901 portrait (above) suggests he might, perhaps, have looked like our man in 1868, at age 45, but that is hardly definitive.
I found Charles Tennant and the rest here:
https://books.google.com/books?id=UN8rVbQU5WsC&pg=PA73&lpg=PA73&dq=mrs+rainey+1869+glasgow+bust+ewing&source=bl&ots=Diqwmq81Zy&sig=ACfU3U2ETepKHbB3TpFFfDSrVyq4nu1rsA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwik3bvv_d3oAhWolnIEHW6nAVIQ6AEwAHoECAoQKA#v=onepage&q=mrs rainey 1869 glasgow bust ewing&f=false
The link in my prior comment is wayward. Just put in "Ewing" in the search box at left, hit "Go" next to it, then click on Page 73.
Jacinto, there are far better places to access the RA exhibits. All volumes (several times over) of Graves's 1905 'Dictionary of Exhibitors' are on Archive.org - I suggest https://bit.ly/2Rq0JME. They are fully searchable, and unlike Google Books individual pages can be saved simply to your computer. Here is where Ewing begins: https://bit.ly/34vsfO6. Enlarge image tab is bottom right.
Graves is very easy to use, but there are quite a few errors and omissions. So ultimately the best place to go, at least to double-check, is the Royal Academy itself, which has searchable images of all the original catalogues: https://bit.ly/2yQDViA. The search engine has its problems and idiosyncrasies (you may need to adjust the search terms once you're at the right catalogue), but worth persevering with.
Charles Tennant was one of many I considered and investigated; but although later portraits (e.g. 1880 attached 1) suggested he was possible (if not probable), it turned out that his beard was already long (and thus long-established) in 1870 (attached 2). The nose (inter alia) is wrong anyway.
So at present William Just and Mrs. Hanbury Lennox are of greatest interest. I was also wondering about whether the classical drapery of the male bust implies an aristocratic (titled) sitter or not necessarily. It would seem (to me) a bit too much for, say, a lawyer.
No, from at least the mid-C19th it did not necessarily imply that - particularly in the north, there are numerous examples where the sitter is 'new money' and/or 'new technology'. For example, in the 1850s/60s a host of pioneering railway engineers, George and Robert Stephenson, Nicholas Wood, Daniel Gooch, George Parker Bidder and John Fowler, were all sculpted in classical drapery.
Having said that, most of the above still look like blunt, practical men who've inexplicably found themselves wrapped in a sheet. Our sitter seems more at home in his, and I don't think image presented - the man's style, bearing and demeanour - is that of new industrial money, or even of municipal achievement. I would guess he is indeed aristocracy (or wants to be seen as such), or is involved in the arts or letters - a writer, a poet, a painter, perhaps.
William Just was a Liverpool shipping magnate, Managing Director of the Pacific Steam Navigation Co. for 32 years from 1843 (and still a very active director when he died in 1895). He was born at Errol, Perthshire, in March 1812, and would thus have been 55 or 56 when the portrait bust was modelled. Unlikely, I think.
It is "The Hon. Mrs. Hanbury Lennox." What precisely does that imply about her status, or is it specific?
I have looked into Thomas Faed, Lord Elcho, Daniel Macnee, Lord Clyde and John Gibson, all dead ends, apparently.
I am confused- there appear to be two female busts findable on the internet -both labelled as Princess Aleaxdra by Ewing 1869 and friom Duff House !!! And neither of them look like Princess Alexandra. This one looks like Agness Countess Duff.
Louis, the bust you link is one of the two busts under discussion here.
It's complicated, Jacinto. In this context 'The Hon(ourable)' is almost certainly a 'courtesy title' held by virtue of "noble birth" (i.e. from a titled family), or of marriage to one of noble birth. Specifically it means (or should mean) that either she was the daughter of a baron or viscount, or that her husband was the son of a baron / viscount, or a younger son of an earl (if he was the eldest son he would have used a subsidiary title of the earldom). Often a married woman was 'The Hon.' both by her own birth *and* by that of her husband – in the C19th there was a tendency to marry your social equal, but this was never as marked here as in some Continental aristocracies.
The problem here, though, lies not in ‘The Hon.’, but in the name after it. Forgetting about 'The Hon.' for a second, 'Mrs Hanbury Lennox' should mean the wife of Mr Hanbury Lennox, and that should be his first and last name – somebody called Jane who is currently married to John Smith is 'Mrs John Smith', not 'Mrs Jane Smith'. But there never was a Mr Hanbury Lennox, let alone ‘The Hon. Hanbury Lennox’, and there is no doubt in my mind that the man involved is (his full name in 1868) The Hon. Charles Spencer Bateman-Hanbury-Kincaid-Lennox, MP (1827–1912) – and the hyphens were often not used, just to confuse things further!
His full name before 1862 was the Hon. Charles Spencer Bateman-Hanbury, but in that year he married Margaret, eldest daughter and co-heir of John Kincaid-Lennox and widow of the 7th Viscount Strangford. On marriage he and his wife assumed by Royal licence the additional surnames of Kincaid-Lennox in accordance with his father-in-law's will. See https://bit.ly/34rJcss. Margaret was born in Scotland in Feb. 1830, and died at Windsor in 1892. She must be Ewing’s sitter in the bust exhibited at the RA in 1868 (https://bit.ly/3ea4Aae).
Aha- cos I thought we were discussing this one
No, Louis, that is the real Alexandra, the one NGS apparently thought they were getting for Duff House, though they got someone else.
And to confirm the above I find (in the BNA) that the couple were routinely referred to in the press as “[The Hon.] Mr & Mrs Hanbury Lennox” (i.e. without even his first name or initial)...as for example in the attached cutting that refers in detail to the inauguration of Ewing’s bust of her in Nov 1868 at Lennoxtown Town Hall.
It was intended that the bust should remain at the Town Hall (which still stands, though now called Campsie Memorial Hall - see https://bit.ly/2V1FliO). I rather doubt it's still there, though it's possible - if it isn't, I imagine any attempt to find out what happened to it would be long, arduous and probably fruitless. Our bust could be it - Margaret's age in 1868 (38) seems plausible. But we need to find other images of her.
So Osmund, the lady (Margaret) would have been 38 in 1868, which the woman in our bust could be, albeit not a young 38.
Sorry, Osmund, our comments crossed in posting.
Is there any firm evidence that Ewing ever worked in this Romantic style? Can the hair style be dated even if rather roughly?
There's carte de visite photos of the Bateman-Hanbury-Kincaid-Lennoxs on the Harvard Art Museums' collections website:
from one of Lady Mary Filmer's scrapbooks. They're not very definite, but it's possible that it could be the same women as the bust. The hair is different by I suspect these may date fairly soon after their marriage in 1862.
Margaret Kincaird-Lennox had a rather shady past (in mid-Victorian terms) by having been the mistress of the rakish George Smythe, 7th Viscount Strangford, before marrying him on his death bed in 1857 at the home of one of his ex-mistresses. So she may have been wanting to appear as respectable as possible.
I'm not actually sure whether she actually qualified as an Hon, but being the widow of a peer, the wife of an MP and the lady of the manor and public benefactor, they probably felt she deserved it.
Martin, the hair style of the Duff House bust is practically identical to the style worn by Glasgow's 1869 Alexandra, as illustrated in the previously attached composite and posted here again. As Katharine Eustace has confirmed above, the Duff House bust is dated 1868 and is signed by Ewing. The only issue to be resolved here is the identity of the sitter.
Just to clarify for anyone coming late to this undoubtedly confusing discussion, the female bust we are currently discussing is this one https://bit.ly/2x5ugUz, which is or was was thought to be the pair to the male one illustrated at the top of the discussion.
Martin, we know it is by Ewing, and that it's signed by him and dated 1868 - Katharine Eustace confirmed that above, and helpfully attached an image of the entries for both busts in Stephen Lloyd's 1999 'Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture at Duff House': https://bit.ly/2JWfZfX. The sitter identifications are incorrect, but the rest must surely be accurate.
Sorry, Kieran, we double up as usual, though your comparison is most helpful.
I expect Martin was referring to the male bust, which does *look* more "Romantic" or less Victorian in terms of period.
More on Margaret Lennox and her deathbed marriage is here:
Mark is quite correct in all he says, and this morning I made an online request to Harvard for a higher-res version of the Filmer album page. Harvard has slightly misunderstood the inscription beneath the photos, but fortunately got hers right: the bottom two are a pair of 'Hon. Charles Hanbury Kincaid Lennox' and 'Mrs C. H. K. L – ' (the man in the middle is not identified). She was indeed entitled to the courtesy title 'The Hon.', through her marriage to the son of a peer (Lord Bateman).
I agree with Mark that the carte de visite-sized photos date from c.1862, and that might well be long enough before for her style to have changed radically - it is my impression from looking at many photos that the hairstyle shared by our sitter and the Princess of Wales was actually introduced by Alexandra when she arrived from Denmark in 1863. As the Wikipedia article puts it, "her style of dress and bearing were copied by fashion-conscious women".
To further answer Martin's query above (if it had been directed at this bust's hairstyle) the attached composite shows a (relatively) clean-shaven Albert Edward (later Edward VII) when he was Prince of Wales, and Alexandra of Denmark, as taken on their wedding day, on the 10th March 1863, when he was 21 and she was 18. The composite with this bust shows a greater likeness than has thus-far been shown, especially in the hairstyle comparison. Attached also is the full wedding-day photograph.
Photographs of both Albert Edward (later Edward VII) and Alexandra, as well as of Albert Edward in various profile shots, from October 1865, can also be seen in the Harvard photograph album:
As the album's years pass Albert Edward sports a fuller beard and whiskers.
Edward had a rounder face, more heavily lidded eyes and a less prominent forehead, in addition to the increasing amount of facial hair, which was quite advanced by the end of the 1860s. Alexandra was always an exceptionally beautiful woman, and beauty of a particular and relatively uncommon sort. Our busts are not they.
For historical interest, Alexandra's sister-in-law Victoria, Crown Princess of Prussia, described her as having "a lovely figure but very thin, a complexion as beautiful as possible. Very fine white regular teeth and very fine large eyes – with extremely prettily marked eyebrows. A very fine well-shaped nose, very narrow but a little long – her whole face is very narrow, her forehead too but well shaped and not at all flat. Her voice, her walk, carriage and manner are perfect, she is one of the most ladylike and aristocratic looking people I ever saw and outrageously beautiful."
This is what a more proper bust of her should look like:
Osmond , thank you very much for directing me back to Katherine Eustace's post which I missed
Jacinto, there is no indication that the two busts are in any way related to each other, apart from the fact that they were both sculpted by Ewing in 1868. And I think that no one is suggesting any more that his 1868 female bust is of Alexandra. The only question is whether this discussion's bust could be of the Prince of Wales. Given that Ewing has already been sharply criticised (see 10th April posting above) for the 1869 "Glasgow" bust of him as not being good likeness, that might also apply here. Having said that, the question as to why Ewing might have sculpted a hairy-faced Prince aged 27 in 1868 in the manner of a 21-year-old clean-shaven youth of c.1863 is an obvious obstacle to the legitimacy of this proposal. Maybe all that the composite shows is that youthful male hairstyles did not change much between 1863 and 1868, which at least goes some way to answering Martin's query above.
The Glasgow bust is recognizably Edward, and our bust is not. Actually, of the two Glasgow busts, the one of Edward is a better likeness than the one of Alexandra, in my opinion. They are both, however, mannered, as I have previously noted.
I think you're dredging the farthest reaches of plausibility there, Kieran. You can just about make out a case for a resemblance based on frontal views; but surely one glance at the profile knocks it into the impossible? See attached comparison.
Ewing's 1869 portrait may have been deficient in the press's view, but it isn't that bad - as Jacinto says, it is still recognisably Edward. And I would like to see a single example of a significant portrait by a significant artist of a hugely famous and *living* sitter depicted as he might have looked five or more years earlier. It just doesn't make sense.
That's that then.
Although I argued in the opposite direction three weeks ago (on relative size and appearance grounds), there is a circumstantial case for our two busts being associated, though not necessarily a husband & wife pair. I think it unlikely that NGS would have believed they were the Prince & Princess of Wales unless they had found or been offered them as a pair.
The pairing-up and identification might of course have been done by a dealer who had bought them separately, before offering them to NGS - a dealer who may or may not have believed in the identity they gave them. But it seems marginally more likely that a dealer acquired them together, or that they were offered at auction together, with or without a traditional identity.
Doubtless at least part of the answer lies in NGS's archives, and I would hope that, in the interests of art scholarship, they might be prepared to share it. There would then be at least a chance of tracking back the provenance.
For interest, a Parian ware version of an 1863 bust of Edward:
Kate Eustace has emailed Stephen Lloyd at Knowsley, but he is on furlough, so we’ll have to await his response; likewise, others are not in a position to help at present. Robert Wenley replied immediately, but was not able to help as he was not on the staff in Glasgow until 2003, and all this was in the 1990s.
Kate was referred to Ottavia Tonelli, Collections Information Registrar at National Galleries Scotland, who was able to confirm from their database:
• That the pair of Ewing busts were bought by them in 1994 for Duff House, and transferred to Historic Environment Scotland in 1997, the attributions as per the invoice.
• The Steell bust of Edward VII was purchased by Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 1887, but is said by National Galleries Scotland not to be the bust we have been looking at, but another, see attached image for P169. This was clearly at the time of photographing on the Great Stair at Duff, see urn mural decoration behind, as in the 5th Earl of Fife.
I suggest that this discussion about the Ewing busts lies dormant until we can check what we need to.
Sorry, another attempt to attach the file.
It is now more than a year ago that the last action was taken on this. Might it be time to try again?
Thank you, Jacob. I had been thinking the same thing, but I was not sure if the situation had normalized sufficiently to check again.
Jacob Simon asks whether this discussion, which has proved particularly intractable, can be moved on. It could indeed, once Covid restrictions are relaxed. I wrote most of the summation over a year ago, but he will have noted there are one or two vital on-site checks still to be made. What may have been missed, but is evident when reading between the lines, is that Duff House has been under three unitary authorities working in parallel, and while Historic Environmental Scotland has excellent officers equivalent to curators, they are mostly archaeologists with large, remote, territorial remits. Duff House is the only period country house with contents in HES care.
The contents have until recently been largely the responsibility of the National Galleries of Scotland, whose records are meticulous. However, the objects under discussion were never part of that remit. Dr Richards who is responsible for this side of the procedure and liaison with collection holders, has asked for photographs of back views of the busts in question. We await the House being opened up again to staff and visitors, and there the matter has rested.
Duff House is apparently open again. Can we now proceed with the necessary enquiries as previously mentioned?
In case my comment was missed some 10 days ago, as it may well have been, the Duff House website confirms that the house is open. Perhaps the pending enquiries can now be made to the people or entities considered relevant.
I've asked the collection again for photographs of back views of the busts in question.
The request for photographs of the back of the busts has been sent on to the relevant staff.
Can the relevant people be contacted anew about the relevant information discussed above, including but not limited to whatever provenance information may be found in the NGS archives?
The name Sir Archibald Alison was included in the biography that Jacinto linked to early in this discussion (20/03/2020 02:04).
I've attached a composite based on a portrait of Sir Archibald Alison (1792-1867) on Art UK. I realize that he wouldn't have been the sitter but his resemblance to the bust is intriguing. He wasn’t the father of Arthur Alison (see Kieran’s excellent list 10/04/2020 02:21).
At a minimum, the busts are misidentified and mis-dated as 20th C, which requires revision on Art UK. I suppose it is conceivable that the man's bust is posthumous, and it might help to get Lou Taylor's opinion as to date based on his hair, even though the bust was apparently made in 1868.