Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 22, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries

Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham and 7th Earl of Winchilsea

Bust
ca. 1723 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This portrait bust of the statesman Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, 7th Earl of Winchilsea (1647-1730), is an early work by Rysbrack, and helped establish his reputation in England. It could well be based on three painted likenesses of Finch by Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723), dating from 1720, and because of this it has recently been suggested that the bust dates from as early as 1720, shortly after Rysbrack arrived in London. Perhaps the commission was indeed the reason he came over to England from the Netherlands. It may have been commissioned by William Finch, the second son of the sitter. It was certainly later displayed in his house in Savile Row, London. By 1774 the bust was in place at the foot of the Great Staircase of the Finch family's country estate, Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland. It remained in the family until 1999. According to the Dictionary of National Biography, the sitter was tall, thin and dark-complexioned. His manner was apparently so solemn that he acquired the nickname of Don Diego and Don Dismal amongst his contemporaries.

Rysbrack (1694-1770) was born in Antwerp, and trained in the Netherlands, but spent his working life in Britain. He was one of the most important sculptors active in this country in the first half of the 18th century, and specialised in portrait busts and funerary monuments. Although he never visited Italy, many of his works are clearly indebted to classical archetypes, like the present bust.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved marble.
Brief Description
Marble bust of Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham and 7th Earl of Winchilsea by Michael Rysbrack (1694-1770), England, ca. 1723
Physical Description
The sitter is shown looking slightly to his left, clean-shaven with cropped hair, wearing a toga.
Dimensions
  • Height: 62cm
  • Depth: 27.5cm
Gallery Label
John Michael Rysbrack (1694–1770) Bust of Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham (1647–1730) About 1723 Rysbrack came to London from Antwerp in 1720. This early work shows one of his first patrons, the 2nd Earl of Nottingham. He is portrayed in classical dress, an approach that became increasingly popular for public figures in the 18th century with the renewed interest in antique sculpture. London Marble Probably commissioned by William Finch (1691–1766) for his London home(2021)
Credit line
Purchased with contributions from Art Fund, the Parnassus Foundation through the American Friends of the V&A, the Hugh Phillips Bequest, the Henry Moore Foundation, and Sotheby's, whose donation was made in memory of Terence Hodgkinson
Object history
Probably commissioned by William Finch, second son of the sitter, and displayed in his house in Sevile Row. By 1774 the bust was displayed at the foot of the Great Staircase, Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland. Thence by descent to G.S. Finch Esq., Ayston Hall, Rutland, Leicestershire, by whom it was sold in 1999. Included in Sotheby's sale, London, 8 July 1998, lot 81, the bust was bought in and later purchased by the Museum for £350,000, with contributions from the National Art Collections Fund, the Parnassus Foundation through the American Friends of the V&A, the Hugh Phillips Bequest, the Henry Moore Foundation, and Sotheby's, whose donation was made in memory of Terence Hodgkinson, former Keeper of Sculpture at the V&A.
Subject depicted
Summary
This portrait bust of the statesman Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, 7th Earl of Winchilsea (1647-1730), is an early work by Rysbrack, and helped establish his reputation in England. It could well be based on three painted likenesses of Finch by Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723), dating from 1720, and because of this it has recently been suggested that the bust dates from as early as 1720, shortly after Rysbrack arrived in London. Perhaps the commission was indeed the reason he came over to England from the Netherlands. It may have been commissioned by William Finch, the second son of the sitter. It was certainly later displayed in his house in Savile Row, London. By 1774 the bust was in place at the foot of the Great Staircase of the Finch family's country estate, Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland. It remained in the family until 1999. According to the Dictionary of National Biography, the sitter was tall, thin and dark-complexioned. His manner was apparently so solemn that he acquired the nickname of Don Diego and Don Dismal amongst his contemporaries.



Rysbrack (1694-1770) was born in Antwerp, and trained in the Netherlands, but spent his working life in Britain. He was one of the most important sculptors active in this country in the first half of the 18th century, and specialised in portrait busts and funerary monuments. Although he never visited Italy, many of his works are clearly indebted to classical archetypes, like the present bust.
Bibliographic References
  • Bilbey, Diane with Trusted, Marjorie, British Sculpture 1470 to 2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2002, pp. 127, 8, cat. no. 177
  • Hinton, Jack, 'Collecting Roman Medals. Anthony Morris Clark and the Philadelphia Museum of Art' 'The Medal', Autmn 2005, p. 18
  • Gunnis, R., Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, London, 1953, pp. 333, 336
  • Whinney, M. Sculpture in Britain 1530 to 1830, (revised by J. Physick), London, 1988 (second edition), pp. 166-8, fig. 106 on p. 166
  • Williamson, Paul, “Acquisition of Sculpture at the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1992-1999”, in: Burlington Magazine, Dec. 1999, CXLI, p. 787, fig. XIII
  • Guillaume Faroult, Christophe Leribault, and Guilhem Scherf (eds.), L'Antiquite revee: innovations et resistances au XVIII siecle, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 2010
Collection
Accession Number
A.6-1999

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record createdApril 4, 2000
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