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Nathaniel Hone the Elder and William Baillie: Irish artists in late 18th-century London and their shared admiration for Rembrandt.

This article on the close connection between the painter, Nathaniel Hone the Elder (1718-84) and the printmaker, dealer and connoisseur, William Baillie (1723-1810) will concentrate in particular on their shared interest in and emulation of Rembrandt's work. To begin with however their friendship and milieu in London from 1761 onwards will be described with the aid of contemporary reminiscences, caricatures and sketches, as well as auction records. The influence of Rembrandt's work on their collecting and dealing and painting or printmaking is then examined. Baillie's notorious restrike of Rembrandt's Hundred Guilder Print, where he reworked the master's plate and took new prints from it, is reviewed in context while the frequently quoted criticisms of the printmaker and Keeper of the Prints and Drawings department at the British Museum JT Smith are questioned. The printseller John Boydell's catalogues are used to enlighten us further about Baillie's marketing techniques and as proof that he also made restrikes of two further Rembrandt prints. Baillie was the only printmaker to do this in 18th-century England although it was not an uncommon practice in France. Our understanding of Baillie's opinion of Rembrandt is further deepened through his annotations on the artist and some of his pupils which he added to the margins of his copy of the Revd Matthew Pilkington's Gentleman's and Connoisseur's Dictionary of Painters. Finally Hone's Portrait of William Baillie is scrutinised in order to emphasise the many Rembrandt influences that can be detected in it.

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Hone and Baillie began their lives in Dublin where their fathers were both merchants. (1) Given their mutual interest in art and the close proximity of their father's workplaces, it is likely that they were acquainted from an early age. Hone probably received some artistic training from Robert West at his private drawing school and from John Brooks, who set up as a mezzotint engraver in Dublin in 1741. Baillie had a more classical education, initially attending the school on Capel Street of Jonathan Swift's great friend, Doctor Sheridan, until 1735 and three years later was admitted to Trinity College Dublin. (2) Both men left for England around the same time in 1742 but their paths diverged. While Hone began his career as an itinerant painter and then after his marriage settled in London as a miniaturist and portrait painter, Baillie entered the Middle Temple to train as a lawyer. (3) Two years later, on coming of age, Baillie joined the Somerset Light Infantry as an ensign. This was the start of a long military career. (4) By the time he retired from the 17th Light Dragoons in 1761, he had reached the rank of Captain. More importantly he had gained the reputation of being a hero of the Battle of Minden in 1759. (5) He had also begun to draw and make prints, from 1750 onwards, and had undoubtedly acquainted himself with the major Dutch and German collections of the period when he was stationed in Holland and Germany. All of these factors together with his excellent education probably helped to establish Baillie as a connoisseur and artistic advisor to aristocrats such as John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, whose collection was one of the earliest of the great British collections of 17th-century Netherlandish paintings, and also to a number of Bute's circle, including particularly his son-in-law, Sir James Lowther, later 1st Earl of Lonsdale. (6)

Baillie spent the last 49 years of his life in London. As soon as he arrived on the scene his friendship with Hone was sealed. But they had met on at least two occasions before this. Just after the end of the War of Austrian Succession, Robert Edge Pine had painted Baillie's portrait perhaps to mark his promotion as Lieutenant in the Somerset Light Infantry (Pl 2). A number of versions of this portrait were later made to commemorate Baillie's valour when he led the grenadiers of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry at the Battle of Minden. (7) A handwritten note in the Bute Album (Institut Neerlandais, Paris, Inv. no. 6436) probably inscribed by Baillie attributes an etching after the portrait (Pl 1) to Hone: 'Wm. Baillie 13th foot, etched by Mr Hone anno 1752. This print is unique. There were but two printed [.] the Plate is lost.' (8) On the last page of his diary for 1752, Hone also noted that he had received five pounds, five shillings from 'Capt.n Bayly'. (9) The charge was probably for the copperplate etching, since Hone's miniatures normally cost 10 guineas. There was some misunderstanding about his rank, as Baillie was not made Captain until 1756.

Hone probably also taught Baillie the rudiments of printmaking. In 1760, Baillie dedicated an etching he had made after what he believed to be a Rembrandt drawing from Hone's collection to him 'in Ricognocenza delli Instruzioni di Lui ricevuti'(Pl 3). Baillie's association with Hone has been well known to Irish readers since the publication of Walter Strickland's dictionary in 1913. (10) The two men lived near each other between 1764 and 1780, when Baillie was in Kensington and Hone in the St James's area, and both exhibited at the Society of Artists, although Hone left it to become a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768. (11) Baillie made prints after a number of Hone's paintings, the only contemporary artist whose work he engraved, and Hone probably introduced him to the great collector John Barnard, whom he had known at least since 1752. (12) The three men all shared an interest in collecting paintings, prints and drawings and were regular auction attendees. In 1791 Baillie recalled that he had sold a Jacob van Ruisdael landscape to Hone for 25 guineas, probably some 10 or 15 years, earlier which was now valued at 200 guineas. (13) Hone referred to buying and selling prints and drawings in his diary of 1752, particularly in the early part of the year, and a survey of Christie's auction catalogues from 23 December 1771 to 16 April 1772 shows both Hone and Baillie to have been constant buyers. (14) Hone sold prints and drawings to Barnard and others, and had at least two print sales, on 11 February 1765 and the following days at Langford's and on 4-7 April 1781 at Christie's, where Baillie made a substantial number of acquisitions. (15) A number of drawings formerly in Hone's collection, distinguished by his mark of a human eye, are now in museums. (16)

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In 1783 Paul Sandby (1730-1809), an able caricaturist and draughtsman, sketched their portraits at auction, on his sale catalogue (Pls 4, 5). (17) JT Smith (1766-1833) also numbered Bailllie among 'the most singular of those who constantly attended [print] auctions' at Patterson's or Hutchins' in 1783. Smith's caustic but amusing comments about Baillie have proved the most enduring image of the man, although Smith was more interested in producing a colourful effect than in giving an accurate account:
 Captain William Baillie was also an amateur in art; he suffered
 from an asthma, which often stood his friend by allowing a
 lengthened fit of coughing to stop a sentence whenever he found
 himself in want of words to complete it ... He commonly wore a
 camlet coat, and walked so slowly and with such measured steps,
 that he appeared like a man heavily laden with jack-boots and
 Munchausen-spurs; and whenever he entered an auction room, he
 generally permitted his cough to announce his arrival. (18)


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Smith's descriptions were really caricatures in writing just as Horace Walpole's were portraits. He implied that Baillie switched his cough on and off, according to necessity so that he rarely finished a sentence, giving a very different picture of him from the amusing storyteller portrayed by other authors. (19) Even Baillie's letters give an impression of someone quite unlike the eccentric portrayed by Smith.

The painter, illustrator, author and founder of the Old Watercolour Society, William Henry Pyne, who probably knew Baillie, described him as speaking in the 'connoisseur cant of Langford and Christie's'. (20) Baillie was still involved in buying and selling at auction up to 1807, when he was over eighty. In a scene from Wine and Walnuts, Dr Ducarel, antiquary and librarian at Lambeth Palace, had a party in his house at Little Chelsea. His guests included Joshua Reynolds, David Garrick, the connoisseur and collector Caleb Whiteford, and Squire Crawford, a gullible collector who from the window spotted Baillie arriving home with the antiquarian and draughtsman Captain Grose in 'a fury'. (21) He pointed them out to the other guests: 'Why-what the dickens!--is that your neighbour, the old commissioner, in a new chariot?' (22) Baillie was obviously late from an auction with more pictures and books and Crawford imagined that he was probably 'planning a new campaign at Langford's and Christie's'. Baillie seemed prosperous with his new chariot and his plans of making more acquisitions. Then Crawford spotted 'A shining gold frame' in the carriage and imagined the reception Baillie would receive from his wife 'in her tantrums'. 'Dawdling at some stupid auction', she would say, 'forty five minutes past his time' [with] 'some trumpery new purchase'. (23) Baillie married a second time in 1792 when he was sixty-nine. His wife gave birth to a son a few weeks later. The company may have been poking fun at the discrepancy in age between Baillie and his young wife.

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Reynolds remarked how he did not envy the captains their reception, and Garrick made some pun about them being 'in sufficient time to catch goose'. He thought they would be 'warmly received'. Crawford was glad to think of Baillie's wife's ill humour, as he hated 'your commissioners and your placemen' and believed that all Commissioners puffed up prices. (24) He was annoyed that Baillie's library was twice as valuable as his own, which had cost him a fortune. Garrick and Whiteford, who were clearly Baillie's friends, rushed to his defence, the former claiming that Crawford was following in Johnson's footsteps and Whiteford accused him of slandering Baillie. Crawford none the less continued to complain of the 'cunning gentry' who were 'in collusion with the auctioneers who are as great rogues as the others' and he was only finally silenced when Garrick and Whiteford recounted how the Squire and 'another rogue Mister Goldstick in Waiting [sic]' bought half the lots at Ames's sale but still complained of 'being bit by your virtuosi'. (25)

JT Smith also referred to the friendship between Hone and Baillie in his notorious biography of the sculptor, Joseph Nollekens. (26) Hone is described as he arrived at Nollekens' studio in the late 1770s. Nollekens' reply to Hone's greeting would have left Hone in no doubt that he was an unwelcome visitor. Assuming that Hone wanted him to vote against Reynolds, Nollekens assured him he would never do so, accusing him of 'always running your rigs against Sir Joshua'. (27) He informed Hone that he had a low opinion of him since he had painted The Conjurer and was not surprised that it was refused by the Academy. (28) Nollekens was known as an eccentric, and so Hone, far from perturbed, offered him two prints he had bought at Gerard's. This made Nollekens accuse him of bribery. Still unruffled, Hone protested, 'Why one of them is by Captain Baillie, one of the Commissioners of the Stamp-Office,' to which Nollekens retorted:
 Ay, he's another swaggering fellow too: he was praising the print
 you have engraved in mezzo-tinto of Grose and Forrest from another
 picture that did you no good. It proves you to be a man of no
 religion or you would not sport with the Roman Catholics in that
 way. (29)


Hone and Baillie were clearly inseparable since Nollekens classed them together. The print which led Nollekens to accuse Hone of having no religion was the one which he made after his caricature painting, Two Gentlemen in masquerade as Gluttonous Friars at a Feast (1770) in 1772 (Pl 6). Most commentators on this painting or print believed, as Nollekens had stated, that the two sitters were the well known antiquarian and draughtsman Captain Grose together with Theodosius Forrest (1728-84), a draughtsman, singer, composer, solicitor and honorary exhibitor at the Society of Artists, but there are several reasons for doubting this. (30) Hone's solo exhibition catalogue did not identify the models for the friars and Graves added Forrest and Grose's names in italics to the list of the Royal Academy exhibitors. (31) More importantly the swordsman and contemporary author of 18th-century reminiscences Henry Angelo (1760-c1839), in describing the circumstances of the painting, revealed that Grose was indeed the model for the first monk but that Baillie, not Forrest, was the second model:
 Captain Bailey well known as an amateur of the arts and old Hone
 the portrait painter were almost inseparable. At all his parties
 (Hone's) our family [Angelo's] being intimate I seldom missed his
 friend at his house. Hone at this time lived in the court at the
 farthest end of St James' Place facing Green Park door. Captain
 Grose whose stories were at all times humorous, in his bulky shape
 and chubby countenance was quite the reverse of Bailey. Hone with
 his Irish pleasantry (there was no Catholic question at the time)
 by way of a contrast painted them (three quarters) two friars at a
 table. Previous to the dinner, Grose, the jolly fat friar both
 hands raised in the act of saying grace, yet careful at the time
 they should not be idle, is squeezing a lemon over a roasted turkey
 under him. The other, with a lank countenance and figure resembling
 the lay brother in Sheridan's Duenna, as his assistant is employed
 in stirring a bowl of punch with a cross. (32)


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There is additional evidence that the Hone and Angelo families were acquainted. Hone painted a Portrait of Angelo as a boy (whereabouts unknown) and a miniature of his father Domenico a copy of whose L'Ecole d'Armes he owned. (33) According to Henry Angelo, Reynolds refused Hone's painting at the Royal Academy, and the ensuing quarrel provoked Hone's most famous work, The Conjurer (National Gallery, Dublin). A number of authors agree that Hone's submission of the Two Gentlemen in Masquerade as Gluttonous Friars marked the beginning of his altercation with Reynolds and the Academy, although more recent authors on the subject do not mention it. (34) The painting was eventually exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1770 after Hone had replaced the cross with a ladle, although by 1775 he had repainted the cross for his solo exhibition in St Martin's Lane. (35) It was considered irreverent and undoubtedly exploited the religious antagonism that was just below the surface at the time and which became more pronounced after the repeal of penal laws against Roman Catholics in 1780, culminating in the Gordon Riots. The physical contrast between the two characters was, however, probably the main inspiration for the painting. This difference was also observed by WH Pyne when he painted a scene in his book about 18th-century artistic circles, where 'long-legged Baillie' and 'fatty Grose' were observed coming home from an auction. (36) Satirising monks was a common theme in Northern art from medieval times until the late 17th century, when they were usually portrayed as wily, comic rotund characters and there were English precedents, such as William Hogarth's Sir Francis Dashwood at his devotions (Private collection). The title of Hone's mezzotint after the Two Gentlemen in masquerade as Gluttonous Monks (which translates roughly as 'The hood does not make the monk') together with some of the books' titles behind the monks, such as Feasts & Fasts and Deplorable state of the church, emphasise that lax monks are the focus of the caricature.

Angelo is the only writer to name Baillie as the model for the second friar but he is also alone in giving a detailed account of the circumstances surrounding the painting. On seeing an impression of the print some time later, Angelo pointed out: 'Having known the parties, it was a great treat to me.' (37) This nostalgic remark supports their identity. A comparison of the monk's physiognomy with other portraits of Baillie is also strong evidence for the claim. According to Stephens, Forrest was affectionately known as 'Little Forrest' but his small stature would not have formed such a striking contrast with Grose as that of the tall, thin Baillie, who as a former grenadier was exceptionally tall for the period. Although the second monk looks small in comparison with the immensely corpulent Grose, he does not look unusually short.

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It was not mere chance that the drawing that Baillie chose from Hone's collection to engrave and dedicate to him in 1760 was attributed to Rembrandt. Both men collected what they believed to be Rembrandt paintings, drawings and prints. Indeed the earliest prints made after works in Baillie's collection were after two paintings he attributed to the artist. (38) Walker also engraved what is now known to be a version of Rembrandt's Angel Departing from the family of Tobias from Hone's collection, and there were impressions of Rembrandt's Goldweigher and Cornelis Anslo in Hone's 1781 auction, and more Rembrandt prints in his posthumous sale in 1785, including an impression of The Hundred Guilder Print. (39) In addition, Hone owned six Rembrandt drawings, of biblical, genre and landscape subjects, and more works probably passed through his hands, as he sold prints and drawings throughout his lifetime. (40)

Baillie's connection with the master was further reinforced by his prints. Although his early prints and drawings depicted mainly military or landscape subjects he began, from 1758 onwards, to make a substantial number of Rembrandt-inspired prints, no doubt seeing the potential in the increasing popularity of Rembrandt's etchings that ensued from the publication of Gersaint's catalogue raisonne of his oeuvre in 1752. Baillie started by copying Rembrandt's famous etching The Three Trees which the author of the first catalogue of engraved British portraits, the Revd Mr Granger believed had 'much of the beauty and spirit of the original' (Pl 7). (41) He later embellished the print with first one and then two forks of lightning: at the time, the idea of improving other artists' work was common, (42) and Rembrandt himself had taken it upon himself to 'improve' Jan Lievens' work. (43) Refusing to recognise this phenomenon, JT Smith stated that Baillie's belief that his copy after Rembrandt's Three Trees was an improvement demonstrated that he 'could not draw nor had he an eye for effect'. In Smith's opinion the plate was 'execrable'. (44)

Baillie's first exhibits at the Society of Artists, where he was an honorary exhibitor from 1762-76, were also connected with Rembrandt: 'an etching of the gold-weigher from Rembrandt', 'an etching of the Disciples of Emmaus'; and a 'landskip' etching. (45) The first was probably a copy of Rembrandt's print; the second a Rembrandtesque print of Baillie's own invention; while the third may have referred to Baillie's print after Hone's drawing. (46) Baillie made several other prints after what he believed were Rembrandt drawings, most of which were in fact after the master's followers. (47) He also made two prints after paintings that he attributed to Rembrandt, following William Pether's success with his mezzotint after Rembrandt's Uzziah stricken with leprosy (Chatsworth). One of these prints has many features in common with Pether's image, a print that was widely praised at the time. Baillie also copied five other prints by the master. (48) But the pinnacle of Baillie's printmaking career, and the key to his success, was his acquisition of Rembrandt's own plate for The Hundred Guilder Print which he reworked and then exhibited alongside an impression taken from the worn-out plate at the Society of Artists annual exhibition in 1776. (49) This was one of the most favoured of Rembrandt's etchings in the 18th century and had been singled out by many commentators. Baillie's 'restored' Hundred Guilder Print was universally praised by English and European authors, including particularly Adam Bartsch whose opinion was especially influential: (50)
 Baillie la retoucha ou plutot la retablit avec tant de soin et
 d'intelligence qu'il faut l'oeuil d'un connoisseur bien exerce pour
 ne pas confondre ses epreuves avec les plus belles de la planche
 intacte. (51)


Bartsch extended his classification of the number of states of Rembrandt's Hundred Guilder Print in his catalogue raisonne of the artist to include Baillie's intervention, which was described as the third state with the information that the plate was 'entierement retouchee par Guillaume Baillie, Capitaine Anglois'. When Baillie subsequently divided the plate, this was simply included as the fourth state. Baillie had probably undertaken this action as an expediency as he had taken more prints from the restored plate than he had initially promised. Far from criticising this act, however, Bartsch singled out the large central fragment, believing it to form a complete picture with a perfect composition, and he classified it as the fifth state of Rembrandt's print.

This positive opinion was not, however, shared by every author on the subject of printmaking in the 19th century. JT Smith was the first to air this discontent in his Book for a rainy day. (52) He appealed to the generally accepted highest authority, Benjamin West, 'the venerable President' of the Royal Academy, who had told him how, when he asked Baillie to produce 'a fine impression of Rembrandt's Hundred Guilder print he placed one of his own restored impressions before me with as much confidence as my little friend Edwards attempts to teach perspective in the Royal Academy'. It was, in West's opinion, the act of a conceited man. Yet Bartsch had admitted that only a very experienced connoisseur could tell the difference between Baillie's reworked impression and the real thing, and even in the mid-19th century impressions of Baillie's restored Hundred Guilder Print were stored alongside those printed by Rembrandt in the British Museum, which is still the case today. (53) Not content to ridicule Baillie, West (alias Smith), threw in the author and drawing instructor, Edward Edwards, for good measure. (54) The comparison made between Baillie and Edwards is more telling about West's (or Smith's) cruel mentality and weakens his case against Baillie. (55) Many of Smith's judgements seemed to have been built on resentment or jealousy, a phenomenon observed by many. (56) At one stage Smith too had wanted to be a reproductive printmaker, like Baillie, but did not succeed. (57) None the less he would not have attacked Baillie in this way if he had not got some support from his friends. (58)

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Initially Baillie charged the enormous sum of five guineas for the restored print, the highest price at the time for a new publication, although he reduced the price by one guinea for subscribers. (59) Baillie also acquired and reworked two other Rembrandt plates, that of The Goldweigher and of his portrait etching of Cornelis Anslo, but until 1794, when Boydell began to sell Captain Baillie's works in two volumes bound, little is known about how he marketed these two prints. (60) Indeed, even after their inclusion in Boydell's catalogue, print historians either ignored, or refused to believe in, the existence of these two prints. Baillie listed Rembrandt's three restored prints as the star attractions of his Works in Boydell's catalogue:
 Engraved after pictures and drawings by the greatest Masters in the
 Earl of Bute's and various other collections. The plate of the
 famous original print called the Hundred Guilder Print by Rembrandt
 being restored by Capt Baillie a very few impressions are now left
 which will only be sold in these volumes. The plate being cut into
 four pieces. The original plate of the Gold Weigher engraved by
 Rembrandt frequently sold for more than 18 guineas will be added to
 these volumes gratis. Fine impressions of which will be sold singly
 for 2 guineas. Likewise the original print by Rembrandt of Rennius
 Hansloe [Cornelis Anslo] will be given to the purchasers of these
 volumes. Price singly ten shillings and six pence (often sold for
 more than three guineas). These 2 prints are put in Vol I after no
 9. (61)


The price of the two volumes, including 113 prints 'bound with Russia backs', was 30 pounds, 11 shillings and 6 pence and the price remained unchanged until 1807. (62) This was again very expensive compared to other collected works on offer in the catalogue such as The Original works of Hogarth at 21 pounds and a collection of 150 Bartolozzi prints at the same price. Baillie's response to Rembrandt's etchings was unique in his oeuvre as he did not rework any other artist's plates or copy their prints. (63) As a reproductive printmaker he mainly made prints after old master drawings and paintings. But Baillie's connection with Rembrandt did not stop here. Since he was considered a Rembrandt connoisseur he helped form the 3rd Earl of Bute's print collection with particular emphasis on the master's oeuvre. (64) He was also a friend and possibly advisor of the renowned Rembrandt collector, John Barnard, who owned 449 unusually fine etchings by the master, some of which had belonged to the Six family as well as ten drawings and two pictures also attributed to him. (65)

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Rembrandt's paintings were not so sought after until later in the century but Baillie did deal in some of his works including particularly Rembrandt's Philemon and Baucis which was in Baillie's Langford sale in 1771 (Pl 8). (66) According to the catalogue, the pictures in the sale had been selected 'in several Tours Abroad, out of various choice Cabinets'. Rembrandt's name was on the title page of the catalogue but he was just one of 25 painters, including some little known today, and, true to form, the Italian and French painters were listed first.

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Baillie also gives us a direct insight into his opinion of Rembrandt through some notes he made about the master that are still extant in the margins of his copy of Pilkington's dictionary. (67) An annotated copy of the dictionary, which was acquired by the 1st Marquess of Bute, was among Baillie's library contents at his posthumous sale. (68) But Baillie must have owned more than one copy of the dictionary as another annotated copy of unknown provenance exists. (69) These notes were added to the first edition of the dictionary whereas the copy acquired for the Bute collection may have been a later edition. Baillie added notes on some 92 artists but his most copious comments were reserved for Rembrandt, Rubens and Watteau.

Pilkington's assessment of Rembrandt was like so many school reports. For every good point ceded, there was always a bad one around the corner. (70) Baillie's notes on the artist do not seem to have been inspired by disagreement with these views. Instead, he made apparently unrelated observations about the artist, emphasising Rembrandt's originality and his prowess in printmaking initially:
 Rembrandt had sev[era]l Manners of painting as well as Engraving
 all differing from any other Master: his way of Etching being a[n]
 invention never yet well imitated tho there have been a great many
 pretenders. (71)


This is a surprising statement given that Baillie himself was one of the many 'pretenders'. For Baillie and many other artists of the period, Rembrandt's etchings probably outshone his paintings. This attitude can be detected in his reference to two Rembrandt prints. Of The Hundred Guilder Print he remarks 'there are sev[era]l elegant fig[u]r[e]s & for expression of Countenance he surpasses every one'; while The raising of Lazarus showed how Rembrandt was 'sometimes very great'. Baillie also outlined Rembrandt's different styles of painting:
 His first Stile was highly finished & had a Sort of Polish on y.e
 Surface[:] he often did his own Face in this Stile--He painted
 also some Historys in the manner finished to an extraordinary
 Degree with a most Spirited touch however perceivable on them[:]
 This is the manner that enraptured his Capital Disciple G[erar]d
 Dou who ever after adhered to it--But it was too Laborious for the
 Impatient Temper of our Artist--(72)


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Gerard Dou's works were admired at the time and Baillie had acquired a number of his works both for himself and those he advised. As was common in the literature of the period, Baillie believed that Rembrandt abandoned this first finished style of painting purely because of his laziness and impatience. Rembrandt's third style of painting was described in more detail than the second which he practised for a 'very short time' and was 'brown, thin & greasy':
 He then took his finest manner of painting and Colouring which is a
 proper or rather a very careful pencilling neither polished smooth
 or disagreeably rough even on a close View. A perfect portrait of
 himself in this fine Time was offer'd to sale at Christie's in this
 year 1785--but there were no bidders for It. (It was afterwards
 purchased by Mr Beretel & Mons.r Paliet of Paris.) Whilkst [sic] a
 most infamous Copy representing an Old Man with a long beard had
 many admirers and was knocked down at 35 guineas. It was bought by
 a Rt Reverend Connoisseur & is worth as many shill[ing]s. Thus is
 Rembrandt judged of! (73)


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Baillie was well aware of the pitfalls involved in trying to acquire an original Rembrandt painting. Neither Baillie nor Pilkington referred to specific paintings in English collections demonstrating the paucity of his work in these isles at the time. Rembrandt's third manner of painting was further elaborated:
 [It] was bold rough yet great & fine [,]a most extraord.[a]ry
 number of Tints abound in them undisturbed and view'd at a proper
 Distance they seem to melt into each other & are in ye utmost
 harmony & almost startle the beholder for Effect. One of his
 grandest Pieces in this Stile in ye Coll.[ectio]n of ye Landgrave
 of Hesse: Tis the Seizing of Samson. A small oval is in the same
 Coll.n representing Dalila Cutting of[f] his hair in his first
 manner. (74)


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Baillie had probably seen the Kassel collection when he was stationed in Germany in the winter of 1758-9: Landgrave William was an English ally. Since Baillie believed that Rembrandt's The Blinding of Samson (Stadelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main), which was painted in 1636 and is regarded as 'the apogee of his baroque style', was the 'grandest' work of his 'finest manner' of painting, this implies that he did not admire the artist's later work such as The Nightwatch (1642), The Syndics (1662) and others that could be seen in Holland at the time. (75) Rembrandt was more appreciated in France than in England where still-life painters such as Jan van Huysum were sometimes valued more highly. (76) Until the 1790s, Rembrandt's works, apart from his portraits, were mainly collected by artists, particularly Reynolds (despite his criticisms of the artist). Even then, the demand was restricted to very large works or to those containing a lot of small figures. (77)

Rembrandt's masterly use of colour was widely admired in the 18th century. Baillie was no exception to this as was evident from his discussion of Rembrandt's pupil Nicolaes Maes:
 He painted Women with Children in Cradles and other fancy pieces
 [are] very pretty and sometimes elegant. They sometimes pass with
 those who are not correct for rembrandt but they may be known by a
 predominant black Tint in ye Shadows instead of ye rich & forcible
 browns and yellows of Rembrandt. (78)


As a painter and conservator, Baillie was also conscious of Rembrandt's technique: (79)
 This Great Man tried ye Effect of using Varnish with his Colours
 but was soon convin.[ce]d of his Mistake--I have seen a Profile
 head with Mr Denoot at Brussels all crack'd & black where this
 colour Poison was used--I wish our great Modern [ie Reynolds] had
 like Rembrandt only made a few Experiments. (80)


Reynold's use of bitumen was the only defect that Baillie noticed in him as a painter, (81) but he was far more critical of him as a connoisseur since in that respect Reynolds was encroaching on his territory. Referring to Gerbrandt van den Eeckhout's Mordecai led in triumph by Haman (Bute Collection) he stated: 'Reynolds who values himself on his Knowledge of Rembrandt was deceived in this picture until he was shown the name of Eeckhout on It.' (82) Misattributions were notoriously common in the period. But Baillie himself believed that van den Eeckhout sometimes equalled and even excelled his master. (83) Referring to van den Eeckhout's Guardroom scene (Bute Collection) he stated : 'There is also a most capital and elegant conversation piece with six or seven figures which was above his master for grace & transparencies & equal as to Effect.' (84) Baillie also compared himself to Rembrandt. An impression of his print (Bute Album, Institut Neerlandais, Paris) after van den Eeckhout's Daniel proving the innocence of Susanna has 'Capt Baillie's Fifty guilders print 1775' printed above the image.

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Rembrandt's influence was also evident in Hone's paintings. Portraiture was the most common genre for the 18th-century English artist and was also the field in which Rembrandt received most praise. Rembrandt's portraits were thus very influential although English artists were sometimes more inspired by his portrait etchings, probably because his prints were more readily available and because his etched oeuvre received more recognition. Rembrandt's self-portraits also influenced English portraitists. Rembrandt probably portrayed himself more than any other artist: there are 80 self-portraits in all, about 30 of them etched portraits. Hone painted eight full-size self-portraits and two miniatures for which some accused him of 'inordinate vanity'. (85) In one of these he used Rembrandt's idea of wearing a hat which casts a shadow over the upper part of the face (Pl 9). He repeated this idea in his Portrait of Baillie of 1783, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in the same year and is a joint tribute by artist and sitter to Rembrandt (Pl 10). The most favoured Rembrandt portraits were either bust length against a plain background or half length with the subject often seated reading or writing, the book or papers reflecting the light on to the face. In Baillie's portrait, Hone uses cream-coloured gloves to give an air of informality and to reflect the light onto Baillie's face as in Rembrandt's Portrait of Jan Six (Pl 11) and his etching of Clement de Jonghe. Baillie is standing, probably at a window or on a balcony with a view of a country landscape in the background, emphasising that he is a man of leisure, a gentleman, not a tradesman. The light comes from the side as in Rembrandt's portrait etching of Jan Six (Pl 12) but it is perhaps even more reminiscent of his Self-portrait, etching at a window (Pl 13), where a landscape is also depicted in the distance.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Hone softens the outlines with his painterly technique and chooses predominantly warm colours that remind us of Rembrandt's palette: for example, in the mellow turquoise of the sky reflected in the breastplate, and in the predominant use of browns. Baillie's pose is similar to that depicted by Raphael in his Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione (1519) which in turn inspired Rembrandt's etched Self-portrait leaning on a stone sill of 1639 and a painted Self-portrait of the following year, although Baillie is more rigidly frontal than the subjects in the other paintings. (86) Some elements of his painting are contemporary, such as the bag-wig with the stylised curl over the ear and tied back in a bow at the back and the buckle on the hat. (87) Wide-brimmed round hats were worn in the country by artisans and clergy in the 17th century and throughout the 18th century, but by the 1780s they had become generally fashionable for town wear. Banyans or gowns, which might be fur trimmed, were worn by artists, musicians and men of letters from the late 17th century but from around 1730 chiefly by artists. The hat and banyan are almost direct quotes from Rembrandt's etched portrait of Cornelis Anslo (Pl 14) but, while Anslo is in the middle of speaking and holds a book, a symbol of eloquence, Baillie seems silent as he holds his banyan closed with his gloved right hand. Perhaps just as Rembrandt's print portrays the word as being superior to the visual image, Hone was arguing the opposite. Anslo was famed for his oratory, while JT Smith portrayed Baillie coughing and out of breath and unable to finish a sentence. There is, however, much evidence that he was both articulate and a lively raconteur. (88)

Baillie's costume also has anachronistic elelements. An 18th-century gentleman would be expected to wear a stock or cravat, but Baillie wears a leather or metal breastplate (or cuirass) and a plain collar, which are typical of the 17th century. There is a medallion or possibly a badge of office at his throat. And so Baillie clearly dressed up for the portrait either to recall Rembrandt or some past event, such as his military career. The 17nth-century details give the painting an impression of timelessness, rather as in Rembrandt's Goldweigher, where the subject wears a 16th-century costume. The simple collar is reminiscent of Rembrandt's portrait of Ephraim Bueno (Pl 15) and, like him, Baillie stands with only one hand visible, the second being hidden by the banyan or out of view. The gravity of the sitter, the air of meditation or introspection, the deep reverie, the concentration of light on the face and upper torso should not be ignored. These are all features found in Rembrandt's late self-portraits and in portraits such as the Sampling officials or Syndics of the Draper's Guild (Pl 16), where the sitters all wear simple collars and hats similar to those of Baillie in Hone's portrait. However, despite all its Rembrandtesque features, the portrait has a certain worldliness, which sets it apart from most of Rembrandt's work. The buckle on the hat, gloves and badge under his collar all give the subject a striking self-confidence and an air of prosperity. Baillie was after all a man of the world.

Baillie made a print after his own portrait in 1783-4. The portrait is framed, with a trompe l'oeil curtain draped over it and drawn back by two amorini or putti, one viewed from the front and the other from behind (Pl 17). (89) This added to the illusory effect of the image and demonstrated the artist's ability. The curtain device was popular with some 17th-century artists, including Rembrandt, in, for instance, his painting of the Holy Family of the 1640's (Kassel), and it continued to be favoured into the 18th century. The oval format chosen by Baillie meant that his hands were no longer included in the portrait, which removed an important Rembrandtesque element from it. That Baillie and Hone particularly wished to emphasise Rembrandt's influence is supported by a comparison with Lord Mountstuart's portrait (the future 1st Marquess of Bute) painted by Hone and engraved by Baillie in 1779 (Pls 18, 19), which is much less Rembrandtesque. Lord Mountstuart's dress is typical of the 18th century and he does not wear a hat. The pose is less natural and the print is clearer and brighter.

After attending Hone's funeral in 1784, Baillie wrote to the Irish collector and patron Andrew Caldwell that he was 'enclosed in a gloomy mourning Coach; and a melancholy ceremony'.90 He informed Caldwell that he was packing books and pictures which might have been from Hone's collection. Hone had probably sold Baillie's prints. 20 lots on the last day of Hone's posthumous sale consisted of Baillie's prints, including 207 impressions altogether. One of these was a proof impression after Hone's Portrait of Baillie. (91).

It is to be hoped that this article gives us an insight into the prejudices and politics that preoccupied London artists in the second half of the 18th century and can help us to judge JT Smith's memorable summary of Baillie's character more accurately. More importantly, it can be seen that Hone and Baillie were part of a wider European movement which showed particular interest in Rembrandt in the second half of the 18th century. Baillie continued to reap the rewards he had made from his restrikes and Rembrandtesque prints after Hone's death, but his interest and dealing gradually diverged to include Italian as well as French and Northern painters.

(1) Hone's father had his clothmaking business on Wood Quay while Baillie's father had an upholstery shop on the other side of the Liffey on the corner of Capel Street and Abbey Street.

(2) Anne Crookshank and the Knight of Glin, Ireland's Painters 1600-1940 (Yale 2002) p99, John Turpin, A School of Art in Dublin since the eighteenth century (Dublin 1995) p7; David Alexander, 'The Dublin Group: Irish Mezzotint engravers in London, 1750-1775', Quarterly Bulletin of the Irish Georgian Society, 16, iii (July-September 1973), William Henry Pyne, Somerset House Gazette (London 1824), I, p300; Burtchaell and Sadlier, Alumni Dublinesis 1593-1860 (Dublin 1935), pp33. 131. Hone had left Dublin before West started the first drawing school in the Dublin Society in 1746. John Brooks learnt the mezzotint technique in London in 1740. He took several pupils on his return to Dublin including James McArdell and Richard Houston but there is no evidence that Hone was one of them. Hone's earliest mezzotints date from 1747.

(3) FHW Sheppard, Survey of London, Parish of St Paul Convent Garden (London 1970) XXXVI, p231, J.J. Forster, 'A few notes on the Diary of Nathaniel Hone, R.A. for the years 1753 and 1753', The Antiquary, London 1884, I, p246, London British Library, Memorandum Bk., September 1752 (BL) Hone MS 44024, fol52 and HAC Sturgess, Register of admissions to the Honorable Society of the Middle Temple, 3 vols, London 1949, I, p330. Hone married Mary or Ann Earle in York and her dowry probably helped to establish them in London. Hone was a ratepaying occupant on Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, from 1748-51. He moved to Frith Street, Soho, part of the Soho Square development, in autumn 1752.

(4) Baillie joined the Somerset Light Infantry as an ensign in 1744. He was promoted as Lieutenant in 1747 and joined the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in 1756 as Captain and Paymaster. In 1760 he transferred to the 18th Light Dragoons, known as the 3rd for a short time.

(5) Col. CB Wylly, History of the King's own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 4 vols, London 1926, I, p46, The Bugle, xxxi, no. 1, p65 and London, National Archives, Kew, WO 31/ 956, 72225, George Baillie (William's son) to Lord Fitzroy Somerset, Commander in chief of King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 13 October 1848 and CP Deedes, Register of Officers, History of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 4 vols, London 1947, IV, p21. According to most sources, Baillie led the grenadiers of his regiment against the French cavalry and canons at the start of the battle. Deedes cites an account that Baillie was on piquet duty at Minden but gives no source for this. Minden was the greatest battle honour for the King's Own Light Regiment and is celebrated annually.

(6) London, National Gallery London, Library, 'List of the Luton pictures' (c1799), Joseph Farington, The Diary of Joseph Farington, London 1978-1984, XV, p5203; J. Richter, Catalogue of the Bute Collection of pictures at Glasgow (Glasgow 1884), p3; Francis Russell, John 3rd Earl of Bute, Patron and collector, London 2004, pp184-186; Nesta Butler, William Baillie (1723-1810): printmaker, connoisseur and dealer,Dublin 2005, PhD dissertation, I, pp103-9, 132-158; EK Waterhouse, Dutch and Flemish painting from the collection of the Marquess of Bute, National Gallery Scotland, 6 August-25-September 1949; and Lowther archives, Carlisle Record Office, Cumbria. Baillie's role as advisor to the 3rd Earl of Bute and his son, the 1st Marquess has been recognised by many authors. It was first acknowledged in the earliest extant catalogue of the Luton Hoo collection where, referring to Lemuel Francis Abbott's Portrait of Baillie, it was stated that 'the collection of pictures as well as drawings is much indebted' to Baillie's taste.

(7) Baillie had joined this new regiment as Captain in 1756. In the original painting, Baillie wears a scarlet coat and waistcoat with yellow facings and silver lace while in the later versions of the portrait, the coat has dark buff or dull yellow facings and gold lace. In 1986, one version of the painting hung in the German headquarters of the 2nd Battalion of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and in 1933 another hung at the 1st Battalion headquarters in Gosport, in the South of England.

(8) The Bute Album which, with the exception of the Hone etching, consists entirely of Baillie's prints and drawings was acquired by Frits Lugt at a Bute sale on April 10, 1951 for 50 pounds. It had previously been in a Hutchins sale on 19 April 1794 after the 3rd Earl's death but had been bought back by the 1st Marquess for 42 guineas. The second impression of the portrait etching which has an inscription on the verso stating: 'Captn Bailie [sic] etched by himself very rare[.] Plate was lost' is in the Heinz Archive, National Portrait Gallery, London.

(9) London, British Library, Hone MS 44024, fol52, Memorandum Bk., December 1752.

(10) Walter Strickland, Dictionary of Irish Artist, Dublin (1913) re-edited 1968, 2 vols, I, pp17-18, 517. Strickland erroneously stated that Hone also advised the 3rd Earl of Bute about the formation of his collection.

(11) Pymouth Cottonian Library, D 75, Baillie to Charles Rogers, 11 August 1767, Algernon Graves, Society of Artists of Great Britain, 1760-1791 ... A Complete Dictionary of Contributors and their work from the foundation of the society to 1791, London 1907, pp18-19, 123; Algernon Graves, The Royal Academy of Arts, A complete Dictionary, 1769-1904, London 1905, II, pp142-143; FHW Sheppard, Survey of London, Parish of St. James Westminster, Part I, XXIX, p364; and Family Record Centre, London, Prob 11/ 1158 Quire ? fols23-5. Hone lived at St James's Place 1764-4 and at no. 88, Pall Mall 1775-80. Baillie lived at Kensington Gore until at least 1776. He changed his London address frequently. In 1785 he lived at 16 Norton Street, Portland Chapel, but this is the only record of Baillie residing there. No. 22 Lisson Green, Paddington, was his most constant address after 1783 although he had six properties to dispose of at his death.

(12) London British Library, Memorandum Book, January and April 1752, Hone MS 44024, and Nathaniel Hone the Elder, The Exhibition of Pictures by Nathaniel Hone R.A., 70 St Martin's Lane (London 1775). Baillie did make one other print after what he believed to be a Bartolozzi drawing. Hone referred to dining with a 'Mr Bernard' on 9 January 1752 in his memorandum book and he completed 'his picture in enamel' in the same year. He included a copy after a Salvador Rosa Landscape from Barnard's collection in his solo exhibition in 1775.

(13) Bute archives, Mountstuart, Isle of Bute, Scotland, Baillie to 3rd Earl of Bute, 29 January 1791.

(14) London, British Library, Memorandum Book, 27 January-2 27-February; 23 March 23 and 6-20 April 1752, Hone MS 44024 and Butler, op cit, II, pp73-5. Hone spent 1 [pounds sterling] on 'Bloemarts drawing book' in January, 1.11s [pounds sterling]. 6d. for 'two watercolour heads' at Langfords and 10s. 6d. on prints in March. He also sold prints to Mr Darres for 12 guineas in March. (Lugt cites a Darres print sale in late March also at Langfords.) In April he sold 2 Cows to Mr Price for 9.15s [pounds sterling]. and a Van der Meulen battle picture to Dalton for 10.10 [pounds sterling].

(15) London, British Library, Memorandum Bk, February 21, March 23 and April 6, 1752, Hone MS 44024, Horace Walpole, Anecdotes of Painting in England 1760-1795 ... collected by Horace Walpole and now digested and published from his original MSS by Frederick W Hilles and Philip B. Daghlian, New Haven and London 1937, V, pp129-30; Christie's Archives London; and Butler, op cit, II, p77. Hone noted that he spent 24 [pounds sterling]. 5s. 6 d. at a Barnard sale in February 1752 (Lugt cites an anonymous sale at Langfords from February 20-27). In March 1752 he sold Barnard prints worth 30 [pounds sterling] and on April 6, 1752 he received 'a book of Van Dycks and a picture of dead game from the same'. At the end of the month he paid Barnard another 30 [pounds sterling]. Baillie bought 20 Marcantonio prints, 10 Hollar, 9 Ostades among others at Hone's print sale.

(16) Anne Crookshank and the Knight of Glin, Ireland's Painters 1600-1940, Yale 2002, p101; Frits Lugt, Les marques de collections de dessins et d'estampes, Amsterdam, 1921, p520; Adrian Le Harivel, Illustrated Summary Catalogue of prints and sculpture, National Gallery of Ireland 1988, pp144, 182, 188, 474; Adrian Le Harivel, Nathaniel Hone the Elder, Dublin 1983; Edward Edwards, Anecdotes of Painting, London 1808, p103; Keith Andrews, Catalogue of Netherlandish Drawings in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh 1985, pp94, 97, 116, D 1018, D 610 and RSA1092. According to Edwards, Hone's Bartolommeo album (British Museum) was imported by Kent and was later in West's collection. Some drawings in the National Gallery of Ireland (bequeathed by Eleanor Hone in 1912) and in the National Gallery of Scotland were all formerly in Hone's collection.

(17) AP Oppe, The drawings of Paul and Thomas Sandby in the collection of his Majesty the King at Windsor Castle, London 1947, pp83-5. Sandby drew 62 portraits in all, which are now in an album. The dates are known in a few cases where a portion of the catalogue was cut out with the sketch. These sales all took place in 1783 or 1786. According to Smith, Rowlandson also made drawings of Hutchins' print auctions and produced an etching with many of the same characters.

(18) JT Smith, A Book for a Rainy day, London 1845, pp96-7.

(19) WH Pyne, Wine and Walnuts, London 1823, II, pp169-77, 250-61, 265, and Somerset House Gazette, London 1824, p300; Henry Angelo, Reminiscences with memoirs of his late father and friends, London (1828)1904, 1, pp112-3, 140, 149, 197 and II, pp83-4.

(20) Pyne, Wine and Walnuts, II, p265. Pyne's pen name was Ephraim Hardcastle. He contributed to the Microcosm of London and to Ackermann's monthly Repository of Arts (1809-28) as well as writing in the Somerset House Gazette in 1824. His knowledge of artistic circles brought artists and writers to Ackermann's weekly meeting s which Baillie might have attended.

(21) Crawford, a retired merchant changed 'his surname for an estate' and owned a counting house, Fox's Ordinary, on Nicholas Lane. Grose and Garrick died in 1791 and 1779 respectively and so this scene had to take place in the 1770s although there is no evidence that Baillie had a property in Little Chelsea before the 1790s.

(22) Pyne, Wine and Walnuts, II, pp169-70.

(23) Ibid, II, pp171-2.

(24) Gentleman's Magazine, August 1773, p415. Baillie joined the Stamp Office in 1765 and replaced John Barnard as one of the Commissioners of Stamps in 1773. Barnard received Baillie's pension of 400 [pounds sterling] per annum, which Baillie had acquired from the Irish establishment in 1764, in exchange for the post. Stamp duties was the most important 18th-century tax. Baillie probably received these sinecures through both the Earl of Bute and John Barnard.

(25) Pyne, Wine and Walnuts, II, pp174-5.

(26) JTSmith, Joseph Nollekens, London (1828) 1949, pp70-71.

(27) Ibid and Nicola Figgis and Brendan Rooney, Irish Paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin 2001, pp220, 226. Hone's antagonism to Reynolds was apparently in evidence since he was elected as President of the Royal Academy after its foundation in 1769.

(28) Ibid. Hone's submission of The Conjuror to the Royal Academy in 1775 caused consternation as it was considered to be a direct attack on the President of the Royal Academy, Sir Joshua Reynolds. In his Discourse of 1774, Reynolds had promoted the idea of copying not just from Nature but from the Old Masters, always endeavouring to improve them. Hone accused Reynolds of plagiarism. The Conjuror was exhibited at Hone's solo exhibition in St Martin's Lane as it was refused by the Academy even after Hone had made some changes to it.

(29) Smith, Joseph Nollekens, pp70-1.

(30) John Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotint Portraits, London 1884, 642-3; G Smith, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford (1917)1968; George Stephens, Catalogue of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Satires, London 1883, IV, pp696, 779, nos. 4474 and 4688; and Charles Mitchell, Hogarth's penegrinations, Oxford 1952, p xix. Chaloner Smith describes an impression of the print where 'personis-Frs Frofse, Th Forrest' had been scratched and then erased. Nathaniel Dance's Group Portrait and Bartolozzi's print after the painting (both untraced) portray Forrest, Grose and Hone together. Stephens cites a caricature of Forrest (whereabouts unknown). He also postulated that a paper with 'Lent y 1st Volume of the Memoirs to B The' in the background of the print might refer to Brother T. Forrest. Mitchell believes that Hone may have been ridiculing the romantic antiquarianism of the Forrest household in the 1770s.

(31) Nathaniel Hone the Elder, The Exhibition of Pictures by Nathaniel Hone R,A., 70, St Martin's Lane, London 1775; Algernon Graves, The Royal Academy of Arts, A complete Dictionary, 1769-1904, London 1905, II, p142.

(32) Henry Angelo, Reminiscences with memoirs of his late father and friends, London (1828) 1904, II, pp83-4. Hone lived at St James's Place 1764-74. Grose died at the Dublin home of Nathaniel's son, Horace in 1791, soon after arriving in Ireland.

(33) Angelo as a boy was in a Sotheby's sale, London, on 14 July 1975. Hone's miniature can be seen in Reynolds' Portrait of Mrs Angelo. Angelo's book was in Hone's posthumous library sale at Hutchins, on 7-15 February 1785, lot 80, day 2.

(34) Nicola Figgis and Brendan Rooney, Irish Paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin 2001, pp226-31; Jane Mac Avock, Highlights of the Print collection, National Gallery of Ireland 1999, p15; Crookshank and Glin, op cit, p100.

(35) Nathaniel Hone the Elder, The Exhibition of Pictures by Nathaniel Hone R,A., 70, St Martin's Lane, London 1775; Walter Strickland, Dictionary of Irish Artists (Dublin (1913) re-edited 1968, 2 vols, I, pp17-18, 517; Edward Edwards, Anecdotes of Painting, London 1808, pp102-3; Smith, Joseph Nollekens, p75. Hone wrote in the catalogue: 'The Cross is here restored as at first intended instead of a punch ladle which was painted by order of the Council of the Academy for its admittance' (no. 17). It sold for 99 [pounds sterling] in his posthumous sale on 2-3 March 1785 and was later in Mrs Graham's collection, 'over the sideboard of her dining room at her house on Clapham common'. On Nov. 22, 1963 it was sold to Dent for 140 guineas at Christie's.

(36) Pyne, Wine and Walnuts, II, p170.

(37) Angelo, Reminiscences, II, p84.

(38) The American artist and auctioneer John Greenwood, who was also Baillie's associate, made a print after Rembrandt's Man with a Beard (Metropolitan Museum, New York) in 1763, the first painting engraved from Baillie's collection, and Jonathan Spilsbury made a print after A Dutch Lady (whereabouts unknown) also attributed to Rembrandt in 1769.

(39) Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonne of the most eminent Dutch painters of the seventeenth century based on the works of John Smith, London 1907-1927, 8 vols (in 2 vols) translated EG Hawke, Cambridge 1976, (VI), p70; Frits Lugt, Les marques des collections de dessins et d'estampes, London 1921, p520. Hone's version of the painting was probably a copy of the Louvre painting and was engraved by A Walker. Hone's print sales were on 4-7 April 1781 (Christie's) and 7-14 February 1785 (Hutchins).

(40) Christopher White, David Alexander and Ellen D'Oench, Rembrandt in eighteenth-century England, New Haven 1983, pp22, 23, 29, 118, Samuel Redgrave, Dictionary of Artists of the English school, London 1878; London, British Library, Memorandum Books, Hone MS 44024 and 44025, 1752-3. His drawings were Benesch nos. 600, 609 (Biblical), 413 (Genre or figure), 840, 1309 and 1355 (Landscape). According to White two of these were particularly fine (nos. 413 and 1309)

(41) The Revd Mr Granger, Biographical History, London 1769, II, p409.

(42) Timothy Clayton, The English Print, 1688-1802, New Haven and London 1997, p192. Contemporary paintings were often improved by printmakers.

(43) Erik Hinterding, Ger Luijten and Martin Royalton-Kisch, Rembrandt the Printmaker, London 2000, pp149-51. Rembrandt made freely interpreted prints after Lievens' Four Oriental heads in 1631.

(44) Smith, A Book for a Rainy Day, pp96-97.

(45) Honorary exhibitors were generally amateurs. This meant that Baillie was not associated with professional printmakers who might be regarded more as tradesmen than artists.

(46) Baillie also reworked Rembrandt's plate for the Goldweigher but he probably had not acquired it by 1762.

(47) Butler, op cit, pp266-9. Baillie's print after Rembrandt's drawing of an Elephant was the only exception.

(48) Ibid, pp270-4. One of these prints was after Ferdinand Bol, Rembrandt's pupil.

(49) Baillie was the only printmaker to rework Rembrandt's plates in the British Isles in the 18th century. It was a more common practice in France.

(50) Karl Heinrich von Heinecken, Dictionnaire des artiste dons nous avons des estampes, Leipzig, 177890, II, pp30-45; Charles Rogers, A Century of prints from drawings, London 1778, II, p228.

(51) Adam Bartsch, Catalogue raisonne de toutes les estampes qui forment l'oeuvre de Rembrandt, Vienna 1797, pp76-77. 'Baillie reworked or rather restored the plate with so much care and intelligence that you would need an experienced connoisseur's eye to avoid confusing Baillie's impressions with Rembrandt's own work.'

(52) JT Smith, A Book for a rainy day, London 1845, pp96-97. The book was probably written in the last three years of Smith's life but was not published until 12 years after his death, in 1833.

(53) Samuel Redgrave, Dictionary of Artists of the English School, London 1878.

(54) Edwards was author of Anecdotes of painting and A practical treatise of perspective.

(55) West called Edwards his friend but by using the words 'little' and 'attempts' negated this. This cruel attitude is emphasized all the more when one realizes that Edwards was hump-backed.

(56) Smith, Nollekens, pp viii-ix; Margaret Whinney, Sculpture in Britain, 1530 to 1830, London 1988, p287. See for instance G. Stonier's preface to Nollekens and Whinney's comparison of Farington's references to the sculptor with those of Smith.

(57) Smith, A Book for a Rainy day, p82. He was successful as a topographical engraver and had also been a drawing teacher but, unlike Edwards, he never taught in the Academy.

(58) Antony Griffiths, Landmarks in Print collecting, London 1996, p12. Smith spent long hours gossiping in the Department of Prints and Drawings of the British Museum where he was Keeper from 1816 until his death.

(59) Timothy Clayton and Anita McConnell, Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford 2004, III, pp303-304.

(60) Bailllie's Works were not in Boydell's 1787 catalogue. It may have been in the 1791 catalogue (Metropolitan Museum, New York) but this has not been seen. Of the three plates which Baillie reworked, The Goldweigher plate is the only one that has been located. It is in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

(61) Butler, op cit, pp181-2. Baillie promised to make only a few prints from the plate for the Hundred Guilder Print but there is ample evidence that he did not adhere to this.

(62) The price probably did fluctuate a little. The cost of the two volumes with Russia backs was given as 15 [pounds sterling]. 15s. in 1794, which is probably per volume. A complete Boydell edition of Baillie's Works (undated, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin) was priced at 27 [pounds sterling] 8s. 6d. plus.3.3s [pounds sterling]. for a large book giving a total of 30 [pounds sterling] 11s. 6d.

(63) He may have copied Adriaen van Ostade's prints.

(64) Butler, op cit, I, p124 and II, p87, 171; Francis Russell, John 3rd Earl of Bute, Patron and collector (London 2004), pp135, 201. The 3rd Earl had a significant collection of 272 Rembrandt prints and there were also two paintings attributed to the master in the 1799 Bute inventory (Catalogue of the Pictures at Luton Park, Bedfordshire).

(65) Lugt, Les marques, p256. Lugt believed that Barnard may have acquired the prints from the Six collection through the printmaker J Houbraken who acquired Rembrandt's oeuvre at the Six sale in 1734. The collector Jan Six was Rembrandt's friend and patron.

(66) The painting was lot 70 on day 2 of the sale, 2 February 1771.

(67) Private collection, England, the Revd Matthew Pilkington, Gentleman's and Connoisseur's Dictionary of Painters (formerly in Baillie's library), London 1770, pp506, 262, 435, 531, 11 and 533. Most of Baillie's notes seem to post-date 1785.

(68) Russell, Bute, London 2004, p204, n1. Baillie's library sale took place on March 15, 1811 at Christie's, London. There were handwritten notes on the sale catalogue (Christie's Archives) beside lot 45: 'buy for the Marquis of Bute', 'Bute 15 [pounds sterling]. 4s. 6p'. A note in Bute archives states : 'Christie's, 15 March 1811, lot 45 for 14 ? guineas, Bute to Mr Christie, from Boconnnoc, 20 March 1811'. According to the Bute archivist, Andrew McClean there is no record of the whereabouts of this copy of the dictionary.

(69) These notes were made available to me by David Alexander who owns this copy of the dictionary. It was formerly owned by Robert Raines but there is no further information of its provenance.

(70) Christopher White, David Alexander and Ellen D'Oench, Rembrandt in eighteenth-century England, New Haven 1983, pp6, 89, 10. Pilkington's assessment was a conflation of Houbraken, de Piles and Sandrart's opinions. Pilkington named Sandrart as one of his sources.

(71) Pilkington, The Gentleman's and Connoisseur's Dictionary of Painters, p187.

(72) Ibid. Pilkington also admired Dou, underlining his patience in achieving his colours, his neatness and finish, which he believed were superior to all other masters.

(73) Ibid. Beretel may have been John Bertols an auctioneer from Brussels.

(74) Ibid.

(75) C White, Rembrandt, London (1984) 1989; S Schama, Rembrandt's eyes, London 1999, p264 and J Reynolds, A Journey to Flanders and Holland, London (1797 in Collected Works) 1996, pp91, 93, 95; White, Alexander and D'Oench, Rembrandt in eighteenth-century England, pp13-14. Frankfurt-am-Main is one of the major cities of the present state of Hesse. Rembrandt's Samson and Delilah (Gemaldegalerie, Berlin) is not oval. Reynolds saw the above mentioned paintings between 1781-1785 in Holland. The Anatomy lesson of Dr Deyman was the only Rembrandt work which seemed to inspire him.

(76) Gerald Reitlinger, Economics of taste, the rise and fall of picture prices, 1760-1960, London 19611963, I, 24. In 1779 West valued a pair of Van Huysum paintings from the Houghton collection at twice that of Rembrandt's Sacrifice of Isaac and Portrait of Saskia

(77) Ibid, pp15, 24. Thus the Royal Academy did not acquire Rembrandt's Susanna and the Elders (Gemaldegalerie, Berlin), which had formerly been in Reynolds' collection, when it was offered for 200 [pounds sterling] in 1807 as it failed to meet these criteria.

(78) Pilkington, The Gentleman's and Connoisseur's Dictionary of Painters, p362.

(79) Pyne, Wine and Walnuts, II, p170; Catalogue of the Pictures at Luton Park, Bedfordshire, 1799; Butler, op cit, I, pp146-8. Pyne described Baillie as an 'amateur painter' and engraver. There are also references to paintings in Baillie's will and one of the Bute inventories also lists a copy which he made after Jacob van Ruisdael. This was hung in the Green With drawing room beside the main entrance Hall of Luton Hoo, the Bute Residence. There is evidence in the Lowther archives that Baillie conserved the paintings in the collection.

(80) J Reynolds, A Journey to Flanders and Holland, London (1797 in Collected Works) 1996, pp19-20. Reynolds also visited the banker Danoot's cabinet. He noted only one Rembrandt painting, a late half length self-portrait (Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood) in his collection, which was in a 'very unfinished manner' but this portrait is not in profile.

(81) Pilkington, p506. Bitumen, a brown pigment which was very popular in the 18th century caused problems as it never dries.

(82) Ibid, 194.

(83) Ibid, 507. Pilkington did not go so far as Baillie. He believed that 'Eeckhout and some of his best disciples have approached very near him' but that Rembrandt's later 'strong bold' style 'with a degree of force that astonishes' was 'unexcelled'.

(84) Baillie believed that another Rembrandt pupil, Philips de Konick was also equal to him. De Konick's A View in North Holland was sold on February 24, 1806 at Philips auction rooms in London. As a former owner of the painting, Baillie's opinion of the painting was quoted in the catalogue: 'The profound skill displayed in the chiaroscuro and the surprising effect of the whole render it in no way inferior to Rembrandt'.

(85) Le Harivel, Nathaniel Hone the Elder, p26.

(86) Rembrandt saw Raphael's painting at an Amsterdam auction in 1639 and drew a sketch of it. He saw Titian's portrait of Ariosto at the same time which may have equally inspired him.

(87) Susan North, Textiles and Dress department, Victoria and Albert Museum, Edwina Ehrman, Museum of London, and Hilary O'Kelly, National College of Art and Design, Dublin, all gave their opinions on Baillie's costume in the engraving after Hone's painting.

(88) Smith, A Book for a rainy day, pp967.

(89) According to a correspondent, 'J.C.' (possibly James Christie or James Caulfield, author of Calcographiana), with the Somerset House Gazette the figures were by Caroline Watson, the Irish engraver, James Watson's daughter. An inscription, signed by Baillie, on the verso of a proof impression of the print (British Museum, Anderdon collection) supports this claim and adds that Hone drew the portrait for the etching but Baillie's signature does not look authentic and JT Smith copied the inscription and signed his name!

(90) Private Collection, England, Caldwell of New Grange Letters and Papers 1794-1800, vol V, p23, no. 70; the Revd Daniel Lysons, The Environs of London ... County of Middlesex, London 1795, III, pp12, 19; Michael Bryan, A biographical and critical dictionary of Painters and Engravers, London (1816) 1964. Caldwell took a great interest in the architectural development of Dublin. I am grateful to Jane Meredith for giving me four letters or notes from Baillie to Caldwell. Hone was buried in a tomb with a number of his children in Hendon Church yard on August 20, 1784. He had a small estate at Hendon.

(91) Le Harivel, Nathaniel Hone the Elder, p33. Hone's posthumous sale of drawings and prints was held on 7-15 February 1785, under Hutchins. The second Hutchins sale of his enamels, miniatures and pictures was on 2-3 March 1785. According to Le Harivel, no catalogue survives for the second day.
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Author:Butler, Nesta
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Date:Sep 22, 2007
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