Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of Sir James Napier 1770s

Francis Cotes 

Portrait of Sir James Napier, Francis Cotes
Oil on canvas
18th Century
Collection of Baroness Burdett-Coutts (1814-1906) By descent to her husband''s nephew and heir, Seabury Burdett-Coutts Esq. at Earl''s Place, Wadhurst; Private collection, U.S.A.
This painting came from the famous collection of Baroness Burdett-Coutts and descended with a group of pictures, including works by Reynolds, Hoppner and Ramsay to her husband's nephew and heir, Seabury Burdett-Coutts. They were recorded at Earl's Place in an inventory drawn up in June 1934.

Cotes painted at least ten portraits of members of the Burdett family between 1764 and 1767, including four of Francis Burdett (1734-94). It is probable, given the provenance of our picture, that it was commissioned directly from the artist by a member of the Burdett family and although little is recorded about the life of Sir James Napier, it is likely that he was a close family friend.

A career soldier, the sitter rose to the position of superintendent general of all the hospitals in Jamaica for the Forces in North America. He was knighted on 13 March 1778 at St James's Palace. Another portrait of the sitter by Daniel Gardner was sold at Christie's, 28 July 1924 as Lot.34.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.