Philip Dormer Stanhope, Fourth Earl of Chesterfield thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 24, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries

Philip Dormer Stanhope, Fourth Earl of Chesterfield

Bust
ca. 1745 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The classical format of the portrait, showing the sitter without a wig, and with undraped shoulders, as well as eyes deeply incised, may have been suggested by Lord Chesterfield himself, who in his famous letters to his son gave constant advice about education and manners, frequently citing the importance of Roman Antiquity as a guide. In the letter to his son of 17 May 1745 he speaks with admiration of a bust of Cicero he has just added to his library.

The sculptor Louis François Roubiliac (1705-1762) was one of the leading sculptors of his generation, and his busts and monuments are among the most important produced in Britain in the first half of the 18th century. He was born in Lyons, and probably trained in Dresden. He was later in Paris, but from 1730 he was based in London, apart from a brief visit to Rome in 1752.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Bronze
Brief description
Bust, bronze, Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, by Louis-Francois Roubiliac, English, ca. 1745
Physical description
The subject looks to his half left. The bust terminates between the base of the neck and hte edge of the shoulder.
Dimensions
  • Including marble base height: 58.4cm
  • Excluding base height: 45.1cm
Gallery label
  • Louis François Roubiliac (1702–62) Bust of Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773) About 1745 The British statesman and diplomat Lord Chesterfield is believed to have commissioned the first ‘Chesterfield’ sofa. As a great admirer of Roman antiquity, he may have requested to be depicted in the classical manner, without a wig and with undraped shoulders. The French sculptor Roubiliac, who made his career in England, was one of the most sought-after portrait sculptors of the time. London Bronze (2021)
  • The bust shows the sitter in the classical manner, without a wig. Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) was a statesman and a great believer in the virtues of Roman antiquity. He frequently cites their importance in the famous letters he wrote to his son on education and manners. (13/10/2021)
Object history
Purchased from Alfred Spero, London, in 1959, for £90.



Historical significance: The classical format of the portrait, showing the sitter without a wig, and with undraped shoulders, as well as eyes deeply incised, may have been suggested by Lord Chesterfield himself, who in his famous letters to his son gave constant advice about education and manners, frequently citing the importance of Roman Antiquity as a guide. In the letter to his son of 17 May 1745 he speaks with admiration of a bust of Cicero he has just added to his library.
Subject depicted
Summary
The classical format of the portrait, showing the sitter without a wig, and with undraped shoulders, as well as eyes deeply incised, may have been suggested by Lord Chesterfield himself, who in his famous letters to his son gave constant advice about education and manners, frequently citing the importance of Roman Antiquity as a guide. In the letter to his son of 17 May 1745 he speaks with admiration of a bust of Cicero he has just added to his library.



The sculptor Louis François Roubiliac (1705-1762) was one of the leading sculptors of his generation, and his busts and monuments are among the most important produced in Britain in the first half of the 18th century. He was born in Lyons, and probably trained in Dresden. He was later in Paris, but from 1730 he was based in London, apart from a brief visit to Rome in 1752.
Bibliographic references
  • Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470-2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, pp. 115, 6, cat.no. 157
  • Whinney, Margaret. English Sculpture : 1720 - 1830 / Victoria and Albert Museum, London, London : Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1971, pp. 86 & 88
  • Baker, Malcolm, Figured in Marble. The Making and Viewing of Eighteenth-Century Sculpture, London, 2000, p. 92, pl. 171 on p. 93
Collection
Accession number
A.17-1959

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

Record createdAugust 14, 2006
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest