Joseph Nollekens

Louisa Grace Manners

The sitter – likely Louisa Grace Manners, the Duchess of St. Albans (1777–1816) – turns to her left so that we may better admire her elegant profile. Nollekens claimed – exaggerating – that he spent 16 hours making the clay model for a portrait, including multiple 90-minute sessions with the sitter.. Typically, he delegated much of the work of carving to his assistants. Despite the time spent, Nollekens’ portraits of women often lack the marked individuality of his men, and this bust is as much a tribute to ancient sculpture as it is a recognizable likeness.

c. 1961/62
T. Crowther & Sons, London, UK [1]

c.1961/62 – 1966/10
Heim Gallery Ltd. (François Heim and Andrew Ciechanowieki), London, UK [2]

1966/10 –
National Gallery of Canada, purchased from the Heim Gallery [3]

[1] In a letter to NGC research curator Myron Laskin Jr. on Dec.22, 1970, Andrew Ciechanowiecki of the Heim Gallery writes that he acquired the bust “about eight or nine years ago from Crowthers in North End Road.” He notes that it came with a pendant of a man, looking considerably older than the lady. As the the latter was quite damaged, Ciechanowiecki did not buy it. The London firm T. Crowther & Sons dealt in antiques and architectural fragments from English country houses [Harris, John. “Moving Rooms: The Trade in Architectural Salvages.” Yale University Press 2007, p. 218.]

[2] See note [1]. Accession Log [NGC curatorial file].

[3] See note [2].

Louisa Grace Manners
65.4 cm
Credit line
Purchased 1966
Accession number