Colnaghi Foundation Journal 01 - Page 140

The Sutherland Gallery at Stafford House
The Sutherland Gallery at Stafford House
troops from Kassel in 1806 and given to the Empress
Josephine (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art);
and a monumental altarpiece by Guercino, the Saint
Gregory the Great with Saints, which had been taken from
Spain by the Napoleonic administrator the Baron de
Faviers (London, National Gallery). The most impressive
of all these Parisian purchases – and the one that made
the Duke feel that he had finally “won his spurs as a
collector”50 – was a pair of large-scale Murillos (fig. 14),
also plundered from Spain during the Peninsular War.
Originally commissioned for the Hospital de la Caridad
in Seville and representing biblical scenes of charity,
the two large-scale canvases had been carried off by
Marshal Soult himself; and now, long retired and in
need of funds, Soult sold them to the Duke together
with another Zurbarán – an imposing, full-length Saint
Andrew (fig. 15) – and a supposed Velázquez.51 All of
these paintings were acquired in time to have especially
prominent positions allocated to them in the as yet
incomplete Sutherland Gallery (see below).
No sooner were the Duke and Duchess home from
their stay in Paris than he was persuaded by Dominic
Colnaghi to make a bulk purchase, for the large sum of
nearly £1700, of a complete collection assembled in
the chaotic aftermath of the French Revolution. This
was a large group of historical portraits, consisting of
sixty-nine paintings and 147 drawings (now Chantilly,
Musée Condé), recently sold by the antiquarian
Alexandre Lenoir (1761-1839),52 famous for having
rescued from destruction large numbers of tombs
and other sculptural monuments and for installing
them in the Musée des Monuments Français in 1795.
The parallel but private collection of portraits bore
attributions to such distinguished names as Clouet,
Corneille de Lyon, Pourbus, Philippe de Champaigne,
Rigaud, Mignard, Subleyras, Drouais and Nattier,
but their quality was uneven, since their chief interest
was that they represented most of the kings of France
and other members of the French royal family, and
other historical celebrities such as Joan of Arc, Mazarin,
Colbert, Molière, Racine and Madame de Pompadour.
Nevertheless, while the majority were assigned to the most
private apartments in Stafford House, a select handful,
including Subleyras’s Pope Benedict XIV (fig. 16), were to be
hung in the Picture Gallery and other state rooms.
Fig. 14 / Bartolomé Esteban
Murillo, The Return of
the Prodigal Son, oil on
canvas, 236.3 x 261 cm,
Washington, DC, The
National Gallery of Art.
Fig. 15 / Francisco de
Zurbarán, Saint Andrew,
oil on canvas, 147 x 61 cm,
Budapest, Szépmüvészeti
The nine-month trip to Italy undertaken by the
Sutherlands in 1838-1839 was less productive in terms
of the acquisition of new paintings, although this
was the occasion on which they placed a number of


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