Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax (1661-1715)

Artist: Michael Dahl
Date: probably 1714-1726

Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax was President of the Royal Society of London when William Byrd II of Westover was elected. A nearly identical portrait of the subject from 1714 attributed to Michael Dahl is in the collection of the Royal Society. This portrait may be a copy after an original portrait by Dahl. The portrait descended in the Byrd family.

Reference: The portrait was left to Charles Willing Byrd as “marquis of Halifax” in the will of Mary Willing Byrd

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

The subject stands leaning against a stone pillar with his left arm. His right hand is on his dress sword at his hip. He wears a long gray wig and a brown jacket. A blue sash is across his torso and the badge of the Order of the Garter is partially visible on his chest. A blue curtain is on the left side of the painting.

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; The Royal Society Online Collections

Decade: 1710s1720s
Credits: Courtesy of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 1985.34.