Portrait of Stratford Canning (1786-1880), three-quarter length, seated, in a blue coat oil on canvas 126 x 104cm (49 5/8 x 40 15/16in).
PROVENANCE: Sale, Frant Court premises, 29 October 1908, according to William Roberts's annotated catalogue (T. H. Ward and W. Roberts, Romney: Essay and Catalogue Raisonné (2 vols., London and New York, 1904) The Collection of Sir Philip and Lady Haldin, Lympne Place, Lympne, Kent, circa 1920-1958, and thence by descent to the present owner
Romney also painted a portrait of Mrs Stratford Canning and Child, which is now with the National Trust for Scotland at Fyvie Castle. The latter painting had also been at Frant Court but was sold privately by the family to Agnew's prior to the 1904 sale.
Stratford Canning, subsequently 1st Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe K.G., G.C.B., P.C., was a British diplomat and politician, best known as the longtime British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. A cousin of the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister, George Canning, he was Envoy Extraordinary and Minister-Plenipotentiary to the United States between 1820 and 1824 and held his first appointment as Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire between 1825 and 1828. He intermittently represented several constituencies in parliament between 1828 and 1842. In 1841 he was once again appointed Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, a position he held for the next 17 years. Canning came to be seen as one of the leading figures in Constantinople, as British influence over the area increased and the Turks became viewed increasingly as British clients. Nevertheless, despite his illustrious diplomatic career Canning's hopes of high political office were frequently dashed.
We are grateful to Alex Kidson for his assistance in writing this catalogue entry.