Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery (1674-1731)

Artist: Unknown
Date: probably 1720-1726

Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery was a friend of William Byrd II of Westover. This portrait was likely given to Byrd as part of a portrait exchange. Orrery owned a portrait of William Byrd by the artist Hans Hysing. This portrait descended in the Byrd family.

Reference: The portrait of “Lord Orrery” was bequeathed to Charles Willing Byrd by Mary Willing Byrd

Dimensions: 50 x 40 in. (127 x 101.6 cm.)

The subject wears a yellow jacket and a wig with the ponytail over his left shoulder. A dress sword is on his left hip. A blue sash with the medal of the Order of the Thistle is across his chest. His right hand is on his hip and his left hand holds a hat.

See: Mary Willing Byrd, “The Will of Mrs. Mary Willing Byrd, of Westover, 1813, with a List of the Westover Portraits,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 6, no. 4 (April 1899): 345-358; David Meschutt, “William Byrd and His Portrait Collection,” MESDA Journal 14, no. 1 (May 1988): 18-47.

Decade: 1720s
Credits: Courtesy of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 2008.103.2.