John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll (1680-1743)

Date: 1718

red John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll was a powerful friend and patron of William Byrd II of Westover. Argyll was a repeated patron of the Scottish artist, William Aikman, which is the basis of the artist attribution. Byrd’s London Diary records his request of Argyll’s portrait. The portrait descended in the Byrd family.

References: “About seven I waited on the Duke to the coffeehouse, and asked him for his picture, which he promised me,” 25 January 1718, William Byrd II’s Diary

Bequeathed to Charles Willing Byrd in Mary Willing Byrd’s will.

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

The subject stands outdoors wearing a wig with a ponytail over his right shoulder. He wears a red jacket over a breastplate. His right hand holds a military baton and his left hand is on his hip. A dress sword is on his left hip. He wears a blue sash and a badge of the Order of the Garter on his chest. A castle is visible in the distance.

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; Louis B. Wright and Marion Tinling, eds., The London Diary (1717-1721) and other writings (1958), 70.

Decade: 1710s
Credits: Courtesy of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 1987.36.