Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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A skilled statesman and Prime Minister at the age of 37, North was placed in office by George III to contend with the mounting crisis in the American colonies. His imposition of the Tea Tax and other repressive measures against the colonists lead to the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Despite his wish to resign when the war turned against Britain, the King kept him in office; afterwards he claimed to have felt more the agent of the King than a responsible adviser.
This portrait of North writing a letter is one of Batoni's earliest and most sensitive portraits of an Englishman on the Grand Tour and was painted during the sitter's stay in Rome.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford




oil on canvas


H 93.4 x W 75.6 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund, 1992

Work type



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