attributed to Benjamin Wilson, Sir John Hussey Delaval (1728-1808)

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Doddington Hall
Sir John Hussey Delaval (1728-1808)
Long Gallery
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 237 cm, Overall width: 147 cm
attributed to Benjamin Wilson (1721-1788)
Catalogue Number
  • Lettered bottom left ‘John Lord Delaval’


Sir John Hussey Delaval is depicted seated with a book in his hand. According to Cole, the attitude in which he is painted was a favourite of Sir John.1 The portrait has been attributed to William Bell, whose full-length portrait of the same sitter in Van Dyck dress is at Seaton Delaval.2

Bell’s portraits of Sir John and his family are, however, of a later date and stylistically quite different. Cole states that the portrait is by Arthur Pond.3 However, not only is the style and handling of the portrait quite different from Pond, but the suggested date of around 1760 post-dates Pond’s work for the Delavals. A possible attribution, suggested here, is to Benjamin Wilson, who painted a number of portraits of the Delaval family for Sir John around this time and whose style it resembles. In the late nineteenth century, when mentioned by Cole, the portrait, together with the pendant full-length portrait of Sir John’s wife, Susannah (DN86) hung either side of the fireplace in the Drawing Room at Doddington. It is also visible in a photograph of the Drawing Room reproduced by Cole.4

by Martin Postle


  1. Cole, 1897, p. 180

  2. NT 1276762.

  3. Cole, 1897, p. 222

  4. Cole, 1897, facing p. 222


Related catalogue items from Doddington Hall

  • Castle Howard Doddington Hall

    Girl with a Goldfinch

    English School, ? c.1705–10

  • Castle Howard Doddington Hall

    Dutch Man-o-War Entering the Harbour at Boulogne

    English School, ? later 17th century

  • Castle Howard Doddington Hall

    Sarah Hussey Delaval, Mrs Gunman

    attributed to George Francis Joseph, c.1805–15