About this artwork

William Hay served as a captain in the Russian army before joining the Stuart court in Rome, where he held senior offices as groom of the bedchamber and then maggiordomo (manager of the household). He was painted in 1739 by Duprà as part of a series of portraits commissioned by the economist and Jacobite Sir James Steuart Denham. Denham’s portraits document his friendships with their subjects, all loyal Jacobite supporters, and each is inscribed with a description of the sitter. The inscription on this piece reads ‘Done for Captain Hay at Rome 1739. A Scots Gentleman residing there having been involved in the misfortunes of the family of Stuart, and was a person esteemed by the British travelling there of whatever party.’

Domenico Duprà

Domenico Duprà