Portraits: British 18th C 5 Is this portrait of Rowland Holt by Francis Alleyne or Henry Walton?

Topic: Artist

I think that this portrait of Rowland Holt is by Francis Alleyne, not Henry Walton. I have bought/sold several very similar portraits by Francis Alleyne – his work is distinctive. A quick internet search will bring up comparable images. Here is one from the National Portrait Gallery and another from the website of the dealer Roy Precious.

The collection comments: ‘We welcome with interest the suggestion that the portrait of Rowland Holt was painted by Francis Alleyne rather than Henry Walton. We will annotate our records accordingly with this possibility. This particular portrait has been part of our collections for a long time and has previously been viewed and valued by both Phillips and Christie’s who were happy to value it on the basis that it was by Henry Walton. We will mention the possibility of an alternative artist when it next comes up for assessing. Any other views, raised by starting a public discussion on this subject, would be welcomed. Particularly if sources for the information could be provided, that way we can add these to our records.’

Miles Cato, Entry reviewed by Art UK


Tamsyn Taylor,

I agree with the attribution to Henry Walton. There are several characteristics that I find typical of Walton. The immediacy, the direct gaze, the handling of the paint.
This face is particularly like the face in the portrait of Henry Walton's sister, Elizabeth Bridgman. An enlargement of this portrait is available on Wikimedia Commons.
Alleyne's paintings, on the other hand, seem to have a gentler quality and are a little unsure in the anatomy.
Are there any comparable examples of Alleyne's work?

Jacob Simon,

Of the two attributions suggested, Francis Alleyne or Henry Walton, I think that Alleyne is more likely for the reasons given by Miles. The portrait is very different to Walton as I know him and I don't think the comparisons above stand up to scrutiny. Walton's colouring, his formats and his face structures are unlike our portrait.

Marcie Doran,

I’ve attached a composite based on another portrait of Rowland Holt on Art UK (by John Downman, at Gunby Hall). Holt certainly looks much older in the Downman portrait than in the work that is being discussed.


Here is another link to the portrait by Downman.



The attached snippet from 'British and Irish Paintings in Public Collections' (2006) by Christopher Wright and Catherine May Gordon shows that the title of this work used to be 'Rowland Holt of Redgrave Hall'.

The current title could be improved.


Here are portraits of two members of the Holt family of Redgrave – likely two of Rowland Holt’s siblings:


Marcie Doran,

Wikipedia shows that Rowland Holt's dates were 1723-1786.


His burial record on Ancestry also includes those dates.

An extract from an article in the 'Newmarket Journal' of the 21st of September 1935 mentions the acquisition of this painting. It was donated by the three sisters of Prince Frederick Duleep Singh (1868-1926).


Could the artist be John Trumbell (1756–1843)? He was an American artist who worked in London and who studied under Benjamin West.

Please take a look at this painting at the White House 'Thomas Jefferson' (1788). The text indicates that Trumbell had first painted the image as part of another work and he copied it for this one.


See also, https://smarthistory.org/trumbull-declaration/

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