The un-pretending Pretender
September 5 2012
Picture: National Portrait Gallery
I recently noted a spurious portrait of Cardinal York, borther of Bonnie Prince Charlie, in Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, an erroneous identification which, to Jacobites, is sad enough. But sadder still is the National Portrait Gallery's curious reluctance to re-identify their own portrait of Cardinal York as him. They call it 'Portrait of a Cardinal formerly known as Cardinal York'. The sitter was long known, correctly, as Cardinal York, but for some strange reason was downgraded amid general confusion over the identity of Jacobite sitters. I sought to untangle this confusion in a British Art Journal article some four years ago, and showed that the NPG picture clearly was York. The noted Jacobite scholar Professor Edward Corp agrees with me - but still the identity remains incorrect on the NPG website. How much longer must it remain wrongly listed?
You can read my BAJ article by downloading a PDF here.