The official portrait of William Herbert, 18th Earl of Pembroke, was commissioned by Lord Herbert for the private collection of the ancestral family portrait gallery, located on the Wilton House estate in Wilton, England.
Wilton House is a historic English country manor situated at Wilton near Salisbury in Wiltshire, the countryseat of the Earls of Pembroke for over 400 years. The estate’s 14,000 acres are divided into more than 200 residential properties and 14 farms, one of which is run by the estate.
Today, the commissioned portrait hangs at the top of the double spiral Imperial Staircase, designed by James Wyatt. The staircase is flanked with family portraits by 17th century Dutch Master, Sir Peter Lely, and a portrait of Catherine Woronzow, 11th Countess of Pembroke, painted by Henry Raeburn (Portrait Painter to King George IV in Scotland).
The painting is a full sized seated portrait that stands at 67” x 44”. Lord Herbert’s dog Tate sits at the feet of his beloved master.
Lord Herbert personally chose Adrian Gottlieb for his ability to express the classical traditions of the Wilton legacy, while communicating the spirit of his own age. The background of the painting includes select personal possessions that reflect his interests and personality. Among the conspicuously modern elements are his race car helmet and computer displaying a map of the estate. From his personal book collection, Lord Herbert chose a selection that includes his own educational background in industrial design.
Gottlieb traveled to Wilton House in 2007 and resided there for three months to paint live sittings on location. He remembers riding with the Earl in one of his many sports cars, racing past Stonehenge too quickly to take note of any of its details.
During his time at Wilton House Gottlieb was also commissioned to paint a smaller portrait of Lord Herbert’s fiancée,Victoria Bullough, then future Countess of Pembroke.
Begun in 2007, the handsome gold leaf frame shown in the photo gallery, was created by Arnold Wiggins and Sons in London. Six months after the completion of the portrait, the artist returned to England to varnish it at the Wiggins and Sons workshop, where the completed painting was then framed and delivered in time for the unveiling ceremony. The portrait was officially presented to the public in 2008.
The manor and gardens have been open to the public for guided tours and ceremonies since 1951. Among the many attractions of Wilton House is an impressive collection of paintings by masters such as Lely, Van Dyck, Rubens, Rembrandt, Reynolds, Pierce, Andrea del Sarto, Luca Giordano and the Brueghel Brothers, as well as architecture by Inigo Jones, William Kent and James Wyatt.
- Size: 67 x 44 inches
- Medium: Oil on Linen