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PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ROBERT DE BALKANY, RUE DE VARENNE, PARIS

Sir Anthony van Dyck
PORTRAIT OF GEORGE, BARON GORING (1608–1657)
Estimate
150,000200,000
LOT SOLD. 187,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
39

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ROBERT DE BALKANY, RUE DE VARENNE, PARIS

Sir Anthony van Dyck
PORTRAIT OF GEORGE, BARON GORING (1608–1657)
Estimate
150,000200,000
LOT SOLD. 187,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Evening Sale

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London

Sir Anthony van Dyck
ANTWERP 1599 - 1641 LONDON
PORTRAIT OF GEORGE, BARON GORING (1608–1657)

Provenance

Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon (1609–1674), at Clarendon House, London;

By descent to his son, Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Clarendon (1638–1709), at Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire;

By descent, at Cornbury, and later The Grove, Hertfordshire, to his nephew, Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Rochester and later 4th Earl of Clarendon (1672–1753);

Transferred to his son, Henry Hyde, 5th Baron Hyde and Viscount Cornbury (1710–1753), in 1749, who died without issue;

By descent to his niece, Charlotte (d.1790), eldest daughter of William Capel, 3rd Earl of Essex (1697–1743), who married Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of Clarendon (1709–1786), of the second creation;

Thence by descent to George Villiers, 7th Earl of Clarendon (1933–2009);

By whose Estate sold ('Property from the Estate of the 7th Earl of Clarendon'), London, Sotheby's, 8 December 2010, lot 17, for £200,000, where acquired.

Exhibited

Worcester, City Art Gallery, Exhibition of Paintings from 1642 to 1651, 1951, no. 19;

Plymouth, City Museum and Art Gallery, Paintings from the Clarendon Collection, 1954, no. 20;

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, on long term loan until 2010.

Literature

Clarendon State Papers, Bodleian MS Clarendon 92, ff. 253–54, no. 23 (listed among a group of pictures mended and repaired in about 1683–85, as hanging in the Dining Room at Cornbury Park);

Sir W. Musgrave, Lists of Portraits, BM Add. MS 6391, ff. 76–77, no. 40 (listed as hanging at The Grove, 1764);

G.P. Harding, List of Portraits, Pictures in Various Mansions in the United Kingdom, MS. in NPG, 1804, Vol. II, p. 210;

J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Emminent Dutch. Flemish and French Painters, 9 vols, London 1831, no. 613;

Lady T. Lewis, Lives of the Friends and Contemporaries of Lord Chancellor Clarendon: illustrative of Portraits in his Gallery, London 1852, Vol. III, pp. 254, 346–48, no. 46;

G.F. Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain: Being an Account of the Chief Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Illuminated Mss., etc., London 1854, Vol. II, p. 458;

J. Guiffrey, Antoine van Dyck: sa vie et son œuvre, Paris 1882, no. 567;

L. Cust, Anthony van Dyck: An Historical Study of His Life and Works, London 1900, p. 275;

E. Schaeffer, Van Dyck: des Meisters Gemälde, Klassiker der Kunst, vol. 13, Stuttgart and Leipzig 1909, p. 377;

G. Glück, Van Dyck, des Meisters Gemälde, Klassiker der Kunst, no. 13, 2nd rev. ed., Stuttgart 1931, p. 434;

D. Piper, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Gallery, London 1965, p. 247;

R. Gibson, Catalogue of Portraits in the Collection of the Earl of Clarendon, London 1977, pp. 63–64, 139, no. 69, reproduced;

A. Meyer, 'William Musgrave's "Lists of Portraits"', Walpole Society, Vol. LIV, Leeds 1988, pp. 454–502;

S. J. Barnes, N. De Poorter, O. Millar and H. Vey, Van Dyck, A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, New Haven and London 2004, p. 514, no. IV.107, reproduced.

Catalogue Note

One of the most prominent and talented of Charles I's cavalry commanders, Goring was the archetypal dashing, courageous and roistering cavalier. The eldest son of George Goring, later 1st Baron Goring and 1st Earl of Norwich, and his wife Mary, second daughter of Edward Nevill, 6th Lord Bergavenny, in 1629, at the age of just 21, he married the exceedingly rich Lettice, third daughter of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork. Lettice brought with her a dowry of £10,000, but by 1633 Goring had managed to spend all of it. In the course of doing so, however, he established for himself a reputation as one of the most witty and stylish young men at the Caroline Court.

Financially ruined, but well connected, Goring set out to redeem his fortunes through military service abroad, persuading his somewhat begrudging father-in-law to purchase him a command in the Dutch service. In 1637 he was shot in the ankle at the siege of Breda and lamed for life. However the wound also won him something of a name as a hero and he returned to England with his honour intact. Military service had not, alas, checked the wilder side of his personal habits, and Goring's drinking bouts remained legendary among his contemporaries. After one particularly spirited session on the Isle of Wight in 1639 he climbed into the public gibbet, put his head in the noose, and railed drunkenly at passers by, warning them against the perils of keeping bad company such as his friend. Much, no doubt, to the mirth of the latter.    

Back in England Goring's military experience earned him a command in Charles's wars against the Scottish Covenanters, and with the outbreak of hostilities between Parliament and the Crown he was among the small group of loyal young officers who gathered around the King. In December 1642 Goring was appointed command of the Royalist cavalry in the north, under the Earl of Newcastle. Having struck a major blow against Fairfax's Parliamentary army at Seacroft Moor, Goring fell ill with fever and was forced to retire to Wakefield, where he was besieged and, despite struggling onto a horse to lead a counter attack with conspicuous bravery, was taken prisoner and committed to the Tower of London.

Having been released Goring rejoined the Royalist army in the north and commanded the cavalry on the left flank at Marston Moor, under Prince Rupert, where he showed his skill as a commander, driving his old enemy Fairfax from the field. Unfortunately for Goring, the Royalist right wing had not faired so well, allowing Cromwell's horse to swing round and take his disarrayed troopers from behind, costing the Royalists not only the battle, but the whole of the North of England. In August 1644 he was appointed overall command of the King's cavalry, beating Waller at Andover and serving with distinction at the second Battle of Newbury. However he was called away to the West at the beginning of the 1645 campaign season, and consequently was absent later at Naseby, when Cromwell's New Model Army crushed the severely weakened Royalists. Had Goring and his 3000 horses been there it might have decisively changed the outcome of the battle, and indeed the war. What remained of his depleted forces in the west were no match for Cromwell's army and with the loss of the Royalist cause Goring was forced to flee to the continent, where he spent twelve years in exile, finally dying in penury in Madrid. 

Lean, handsome and rakish in his youth, Goring was painted two further times by Van Dyck, both in double portraits with his kinsman by marriage, Mountjoy Blount, 1st Earl of Newport (c. 1597–1666). One, depicting both sitters preparing for battle with a page fastening Goring's red sash, is at Petworth (Egremont Collection, National Trust), the other, which is believed to have belonged to Goring and was probably taken by him to Spain, from where it was offered to Duveen in 1922, is in collection of the Newport Restoration Foundation, Newport, Rhode Island.

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