This portrait was originally catalogued as a portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) dating from the period before Charles Edward's expulsion from France.

In 2008, the gallery's former director thought it was probably a portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie's younger brother, Henry Benedict Stuart, who later became a cardinal. Maurice-Quentin de La Tour was one of the most celebrated French pastellist of the eighteenth century and many of his portraits were intended to be penetrating psychological studies.


Prince Charles Edward Stewart (?); Cardinal York (?); his executor; the Marquis Malatesa, Rome, from whom bought by Blayney Townley Balfour of Townley hall, near Drogheda in 1842; Christie's, 10/6/94, lot 25.

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