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Hans Hysing (1678-1753)
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Hans Hysing (1678-1753)

Portrait of Thomas Osborne (1713-1789), Earl of Danby, later 4th Duke of Leeds and 3rd Viscount Dunblane, full-length, in highland costume, with a targe, a sword and a pistol beside him, in a landscape

Details
Hans Hysing (1678-1753)
Portrait of Thomas Osborne (1713-1789), Earl of Danby, later 4th Duke of Leeds and 3rd Viscount Dunblane, full-length, in highland costume, with a targe, a sword and a pistol beside him, in a landscape
signed and dated 'H. Hysing pinx. 1726' (lower left)
oil on canvas
78¾ x 57¾ in. (200 x 146.7 cm.)
Literature
Historical and Descriptive Catalogue of Pictures Belonging to His Grace the Duke of Leeds [at Hornby Castle], 1902, no.108.
W. Nisser, Michael Dahl and the Contemporary Swedish School of Painting: Catalogue of pictures by Hans Hysing, London, 1927, p.98, no.3.
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Lot Essay

Thomas Osborne, was the only son of Peregrine Hyde (1691-1731), 3rd Duke of Leeds, and his first wife, Elizabeth Harvey de Vere, daughter of Robert, Earl of Oxford. Thomas Osborne was born on 6 November 1713 and as a child inherited the title of Earl of Danby which had passed from Thomas, 1st Duke of Leeds, through his maternal grand-uncle, Henry Danvers. His paternal grandfather, Peregrine, 2nd Duke of Leeds, Vice-Admiral of the Red, was created Viscount Dunblane in the peerage of Scotland in 1675.

He married Lady Mary Godolphin, second daughter and eventually sole heiress of Francis, 2nd Earl of Godolphin, and Henrietta Churchill, wife of the 2nd Duke of Marlborough, in 1740. Osborne was made a Knight of the Garter in 1749. He became Cofferer of the Household in 1756 and four years later added the title of Privy Councillor. Osborne was a fellow of the Royal Society. His only son, Francis, took the maternal surname, Godolphin. He was summoned to parliament in the lifetime of his father as Baron Osborne and was made Secretary of State for foreign affairs between 1783 and 1791.

The sitter is shown with a basket-hilted broadsword and powder horn at his feet, and alongside the pistol which is inlaid with silver,are the highland accoutrements of a targe, dirk and flintstock. Although the tartan of Osborne's costume is not identifiable, the generic tartan costume may be a reference to his Scottish titles. Highland dress was popular with sitters in portaits in the early eighteenth century, firstly following the Act of Union in 1707 which temporarily gave the Jacobite movement increased momentum and when tartan was associated with the government opposition, and later as fashionable costume.
Hans Hysing had been living in England for over twenty years when this work was executed. He was born in Stockholm, the son of a goldsmith, Diedrich Hysing (fl. 1676-1707), and studied under the Swedish painter, David von Kraftt. He came to London in 1700 and became the apprentice to his compatriot Michael Dahl (c. 1659-1743), with whom he remained for many years. He had established his own studio before 1715 and his dated works range from 1721 to 1739. His portraits recall those of Dahl but are occasionally more lively. He quickly developed a fine reputation as a portrait painter, and painted other distinguished sitters including the 1st Earl of Ducie (1721) and the 1st Earl Cadogan (Private Collection), and in 1730 was commissioned to paint the daughters of King George II, the Princesses Anne, Amelia and Caroline. Allan Ramsay (1713-1784) worked briefly in his studio in 1734.

A version of this portrait, which was previously erroneously identified as Prince Charles Edward, the Young Pretender, is recorded by Nisser in 1927 (op. cit) as being in the collection of the Earl of Roseberry at Dalmeny, near Edinburgh.
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