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by George Huddesford, George Henry Lee, third Earl of Lichfield

Core Record

Title George Henry Lee, third Earl of Lichfield
Collection Oxford Portraits: University of Oxford
Artist by George Huddesford
Date 1777
Acquisition commissioned by The Chancellor, Master and Scholars of the University of Oxford, 1777
Description Whole length, standing slightly to right; dark brown hair in queue; lace cravat and ruffles; heavy black brocaded silk Chancellor's robe with gold lace trimming on collar, facings and sleeves, over dark red coat and breeches; white silk stockings and buckle shoes; his left hand rests upon his peer's robes, which lie with coronet on a pedestal to right; his right on his hip; polychrome tiled floor; background of green curtain to left and architectural column to right.

The entry in the Vice-Chancellor's accounts: 'To Mr Huddesford for Ld Litchfields Picture & Frame 56:4:0' ... 'To Carriage of do [ditto] from London 1:5:6', indicates that this portrait of the Chancellor was commissioned by the University after the third Earl of Lichfield's death in 1772. ('Expensae Extraordinariae', Comptus Vice Can, 1769-1803, 7 Nov 1775 - 7 Nov 1777, Oxford University Archives, Wpbeta/22/2)

The similarity of the head to that in the the head and shoulders of portrait of Lord Lichfield in the Radcliffe Infirmary (Lane Poole I, p.229, no.697), probably by Huddesford, and an earlier pastel drawing at Ugbrooke Park, Devon, suggests that the drawing was the ad vivum source for this posthumous portrait by Huddesford. The portrait displays the hand of a confident painter, both in the overall composition and in painterly detail (such as the depiction of velvet pile above the sitter's right hand and along the cuffs of his coat).

Huddesford's commission for this portrait may have originated through his father, the Revd George Huddesford DD (1698/9-1776), president of Trinity College, Oxford, during Lord Lichfield's Chancellorship of the University. A member of the Hebdomadal Board, Dr Huddesford's signature appeared regularly as an auditor of the Vice-Chancellor's accounts, including that for the carriage of a portrait of George III given to the University by Lord Lichfield in 1765 (OP 17). George Huddesford was born in Oxford and matriculated from Trinity College in 1768. After resigning his fellowship of New College in 1772, he became a pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds and exhibited briefly at the Royal Academy between 1775 and 1777, before turning instead to writing satirical poetry.

In her introduction to the portraits in St John's College, Mrs Lane Poole noted that President Fry's inventory of the collection, made in 1767, included over the door in the dining room, a portrait of the Earl of Lichfield which has since disappeared. (Lane Poole, III, p.149)
External Link Oxford Portraits website
Id Number Current Accession 14
Inscription Signed and dated: G. HUDDESFORD PINXIT 1777.
Measurements 57 x 93 in.
Sitter Biographical Notes George Henry Lee, third Earl of Lichfield (1718-1772)
Benefactor and politician
Artist Biographical Notes by George Huddesford (1749-1809)
Poet and portrait painter
Donor Biographical Notes The Chancellor, Master and Scholars of the University of Oxford (1571-)
Relation Exhibition Oxford Exhibition of Historical Portraits, Examination Schools, Oxford, 1906, no.135
Relation References A. Wood, History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford ed. by J. Gutch, 2 vols (1792-1796), II, Part II, p.958; G. Scharf, ms annotation in J. Norris, A Catalogue of the Pictures, Models, Busts, &c. in the Bodleian Gallery and Library, Oxford, nd [1
Rights University of Oxford



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