The Earl of Chesterfield

Portrait Bust of Chesterfield

Jan van Nost the younger, Portrait Bust of Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

The RDS commissioned this portrait of its President, Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, in 1769. An unusually popular Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Chesterfield opened Dublin’s Phoenix Park to the public. Completely unrelated - but delightful nonetheless - he also appears to have scandalised the English critic and essayist Dr. Johnson, who declared that the Earl inculcated "the manners of a dancing master."1 Small wonder he was a favourite here then!

1Boswell, J. The Life of Samuel Johnson LL.D. 1791.