Home  / FDA-P.52-2010



Object number


Object type



Eton Boys Going to Montem
The Montem Procession

Title Type

Common name
assigned by cataloguer


Large, framed oil-on-canvas painting


At the Eton Loan Exhibition of 1891, held at Eton to celebrate 450 years since the foundation of the College, this work was lent by Messrs. T. Maple and Co. It is described in the exhibition catalogue as follows:

'Eton Montem. By R. Livesay. h ft. by 3 ft. 6 in., unfinished. Painted between 1791 and 1796.

Livesay was drawing master to the children of George III., and was made drawing master to the Royal Naval College at Portsmouth in 1796.

A long picture, unfinished ; a procession of boys advancing to the right, with spectators behind them, containing finished portraits. A blank space in the centre seems to have been reserved for the principal group. Figures on horseback left incomplete.

The completion of the picture was probably hindered by the painter's removal to Portsmouth.'

This painting represents an unfinished project by the artist. As James Lawrence (1773–1840) wrote:

'"Every master and every scholar was to figure in it; and he began by taking every portrait separately, to be transferred at his leisure to the scene of action [. . .] The artist, not only desirous of the Royal Patronage, but of the permission of introducing their Majesties into his picture, sallied up to Windsor with several of these portraits, and requested an audience."

Royal consent was evidently forthcoming, as Livesay advertised a subscription in June 1791 for engravings of two paintings to which ‘their Majesties [. . .] have graciously condescended to prefix their names’. The artist envisaged a pair of large colour prints ‘executed in the first stile of chalk manner’, and therefore expensively produced. One was to represent the procession through the play-field, while the other would show ‘the Assembling and Passing of the whole School before the Royal Family at Salt-Hill’. Costing five guineas and accompanied by a key of names, the planned engravings anticipate the school photograph that would become commonplace a century later.'

[Source: 'Richard Livesay’s painting of the Eton Montem' by Catherine Dille, The Burlington Magazine, July 2022, p.653-654]

'Richard Livesay's large unfinished picture of the Montem procession hangs with some of the individual small-scale portraits, taken from the life, the total number of which must account for the fact that Livesay never finished his grand design.'

[Source: 'Treasures of Eton' by James McConnell (editor), 1976, p.110]


Content (event)



height (sight size): 1025mm
width (sight size): 3275mm


I. D. label on frame

Physical description

Carved gilt wood frame with applied leaf decoration




History and association

Object history note

Provenance: With Messrs. T. Maple and Co. in 1891;; presented to Eton College by Henry Pelham-Clinton, 7th Duke of Newcastle (1864-1928) for display in 'the boys' library' at Eton in 1891

Exhibited: Eton Loan Exhibition, Eton, 1891
image 134231
image 149789
image 69640
image 153421
Prev image
Next image
image FDA-P.52-2010-cr image FDA-P.52-2010-A image FDA-P.52-2010 image FDA-P.52-2010-B
Further information and resources

Can't find what you are looking for?

Digital resources

Terms and conditions

Powered by CollectionsIndex+ Collections Online