The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 26, 2024

George Clavering Cowper, 3rd Earl Cowper

George Clavering Cowper, 3rd Earl Cowper


Did You Know?

Pastel portraiture, which became fashionable in the 18th century, was prized for its powdery, matte surface, which created a fresco-like quality when placed in small rooms lit by candlelight.


This pastel portrait of George Clavering Cowper, 3rd Earl Cowper (1738–1789), was made in Florence, the earl’s permanent home, by the most celebrated Irish portraitist of the Grand Tour. Cowper prominently wears the sash and star of the Order of St. Hubertus, a knightly order of aristocratic hunters to which he was inducted in March 1785. It seems likely that the bucolic scene was commissioned to commemorate the honor. Cowper’s hunting dog receives a tender pat on the head and wears a bold shining metal collar inscribed with Cowper’s name.
  • George Clavering Cowper, 3rd Earl Cowper
    George Clavering Cowper, 4th Earl Cowper
    Peter Clavering Cowper, 5th Earl Cowper
    George Cowper, 6th Earl Cowper
    Francis Cowper, 7th Earl Cowper
    Katrina Cowper, Countess Cowper
    Ethel, Lady Desborough
    The Honorable Monica Grenfell, later Lady Salmond
    Rosemary Salmond, later Lady Ravensdale
    Private Collection, by descent
    (Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd., British Art, London, England), sold to The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Williamson, George C. Daniel Gardner, Painter in Pastel and Gouache; A Brief Account of His Life and Works. London: John Lane, 1921. p. 94 (reproduced)
    Jeffares, Neil. Dictionary of pastellists before 1800. London: Unicorn Press, 2006. cat. No. J.375.1225
    Sheail, Philip, ed. “The Third Earl Cowper and his Florentine Household 1760-90,” Hertfordshire Record Society, vol. 36, 2020. p. 48 (reproduced)
  • {{cite web|title=George Clavering Cowper, 3rd Earl Cowper|url=false|author=Hugh Douglas Hamilton|year=1785|access-date=26 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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