Best known for the extensive tunnels he built underneath Welbeck, the 5th Duke of Portland is revealed in a new light through his extraordinary collection of miniature paintings.
This new display for the Miniatures Octagon in The Portland Collection has been curated by Vanessa Remington, Senior Curator at The Royal Collection.
The 5th Duke of Portland was one of a trio of major 19th century British collectors in this field, and Remington describes The Portland Collection’s miniatures as “probably second only to the Royal Collection”.
The display reveals a man very different from his public persona. Despite his reputation as a recluse who avoided the outside world, Remington’s research shows a Duke who was nevertheless fascinated by youth, beauty, celebrities and high society.
Amongst the exhibits are miniature portraits of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis XV, King of France and the famous soprano, Adelaide Kemble, the Duke’s unrequited love. A series of pastel paintings of the opera singer, which he commissioned, will also be on show.