The bust is signed: ‘Franc. Maratti Patauinus/fecit Roma.’ 67cm high.
William Cecil (c1676-1715), the second son of John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), was known as William Cecil of Snape after the family property in Yorkshire where he resided.
He was several times elected as Member of Parliament for Stamford and became Deputy Lieutenant for the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1712.
He travelled abroad on several occasions, including a visit to Rome for the Papal Jubilee of 1699, when he accompanied other members of his family.
He is also thought to have studied at the University of Padua in 1696.
He died, unmarried.
The 1763 Burghley Inventory records: ‘the staircase……Mahog’y Stand. white marble Bust by Franc. Maratti Patovinus, Wm Cecil Brot’hr (sic) to 5 Earl.’
Francesco Maratta was born in Padua and was a pupil of the Genoese sculptor Filippo Parodi (1630-1702).
He died young, circa 1719.