Francesco Trevisani

John Hay of Cromlix, Earl of Inverness, 1691 - 1740. (about 1725)

About this artwork

John Hay and his brother-in-law, James Murray, were the most powerful figures in the Jacobite court during its first decade in Italy. From a noble Scottish family traditionally supportive of the royal house of Stuart, Hay took part in the 1715 Rising and then joined the king in exile. Like Murray, Hay was resented by other courtiers, but, unlike the talented but arrogant Murray, he was described as being “of only average merit and capabilities”. This painting was painted around the time he was made Secretary of State in 1725. However, two years later he resigned due to his hostile relationship with Clementina, James Francis Edward Stuart’s wife. He retired with his wife, Marjorie, to Avignon, where, many years later, they hosted Prince Charles Edward Stuart after his expulsion from France.

Francesco Trevisani

Francesco Trevisani

Trevisani was one of the most important painters working in Rome at the beginning of the eighteenth century. His father, who was an architect, taught him to draw before sending him to Venice to continue his artistic training. He remained there until around 1678 when he left for Rome. It was in 1696 that Trevisani really came to prominence following his execution of a series of large-scale paintings in the church of San Silvestro in Capite, Rome. Alongside his religious commissions, Trevisani also painted many important portraits including members of the exiled Jacobite court. According to the eighteenth century biographer, Nicola Pio: “no one could equal his ability for embellishing the pictures with costly dress and accessories all painted in the most realistic and lively manner possible”