Portrait of Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness

Knapton, George

A portrait of an important statesman with a family connection to Temple Newsam.

Born in London, the son of a prosperous bookseller in Ludgate, George Knapton was educated at St. Martins Lane Academy and later spent several years in Italy (1725-1732). In the 1740s Knapton became the first official portraitist for the Society of Dilettanti, of which he was a founder member. This portrait of Robert Darcy, Earl of Holderness, dated 1752, suggests his role as a diplomat and statesman.

Darcy was ambassador to Venice and The Hague and was Secretary of State from 1951-61. The picture is one of 23 portraits Knapton painted of his fellow members of the Dilettante Society and was exhibited at the third Exhibition of National Portraits in 1868. Robert Darcy’s family had historical links to Temple Newsam; he was a direct descendant of Thomas, Lord Darcy, the original builder of Temple Newsam c.1500.

Robert Darcy (1718-1778) was Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding of Yorkshire from 1740-1778. His main seat was at Hornby Castle in North Yorkshire. The picture was bought with the aid of a contribution from the LACF in 2000.


Oil on canvas

Other pieces in our collection

Rydal Bridge

Farington, Joseph

1786, Ink drawing with grey wash


Colquhoun, Robert

Oil on canvas, 91.4 x 60.9

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