ROMNEY, George
(b. 1734, Dalton-in-Furness, d. 1802, Kendal)

Portrait of Edward Wortley Montagu

Oil on canvas, 163 x 119 cm
Private collection

Edward Wortley Montagu (1713-1776) was an English author and traveller. He was characterised by his contemporaries as playboy, dilettante, author, revolutionary, and traveler - a dysfunctional child. Romney's portrait was painted during his sojourn in Venice. It shows the influence of Titian. Presenting a vigorous and positively war-like figure, the pose is derived from Titian's similarly exotic Portrait of Ippolito de' Medici in Hungarian costume.

This portrait was part of the collection of portraits formed by the 2nd Earl of Warwick, at Warwick Castle in the late eighteenth century. For many years, it has been on loan in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, since the late 1970s.