A Portrait of Brownlow, 8th Earl of Exeter (1701-1754) by Jonathan Richardson (1667-1745).

Oil on canvas, 124.5cm by 99cm.

Brownlow Cecil succeeded to the title in 1722 on the early death of his older brother John, who held the title for less than a year.

In 1724 he married Hannah Sophia Chambers (1702-1765), the daughter and co-heiress of a wealthy Derby foundry owner, thereby reviving the family fortunes so depleted by his grandfather, John, 5th Earl (1648-1700) on four Grand Tours.

The 1738 Burghley Inventory records: ‘The Brown Dining room….The Present Lord, by Richardson.’

The artist was a noted portrait painter who is said to have influenced the works of both William Hogarth (1697-1764) and Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792).

He is also known to have formed one of the most important collections of Old Master paintings of his time.


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