portrait of anne frederick 1782 by james northcote ra

Portrait of Anne Frederick 1782, by James Northcote R.A.


Price

SOLD

Item Ref

8726

Description

Oil on canvas in original late Georgian gilded frame.
Inscribed and dated 1783 verso.
It was said to have been painted by James Northcote under the supervision of his former master Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Mrs Frederick was born Ann Gregson, daughter of Francis Gregson: she married Thomas Lennox Frederick, son of the Honourable Charles Frederick, Knight of the Bath, in 1773, but they had no children.
Born in London in 1750, Thomas had entered the navy in 1768. He was a lieutenant on HMS Ocean at the time of his marriage.
Anne was known as "an accomplished young lady and famed for her lively witticisms".
Thomas went on to become an admiral, dying in 1779.
Mrs. Frederick was godmother to Charles Bayley, only son of William Bayley. On her death, having no children, this portrait passed to the Bayleys of Stoke Damerall near Plymouth. Northcote had painted Mary Bayley and Richard Bayley at the same time as he portrayed Anne Frederick. The Bayley portraits, framed exactly as this one, were sold at Christie's in 2005 for £8400 and £6000 respectively.
This is a striking portrait showing the very latest fashions of the period, especially the hat. Women’s fashion in the late 1780s was characterised by hats of considerable size, frequently hung with veils and ribbons or decorated by feathers and perched atop a wig. The principal society portraitists all leave a remarkable record of such hats in their work of this period. In Gainsborough’s work the fashion so frequently occurs that this style of headgear is sometimes referred to as a Gainsborough hat. Sir Thomas Lawrence depicts similar fashions.
JAMES NORTHCOTE R.A.(1746-1831) was one of the most prolific portrait painters of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1777, following a period of apprenticeship in the studio of Joshua Reynolds, he journeyed to Paris, Rome and Germany on a prolonged Grand Tour. In Rome he was elected to the Accademia del Forti and, like so many artists before him, took the opportunity to learn from the old masters through sketches and observational studies. On his return to England in 1780, his new found appreciation for the Classical manner increasingly informed his own work.
Northcote had been elected ARA in 1786 and RA in 1787.
His principal talent lay as a portraitist, though forays into the genre of History Painting, notably with 'The Wreck of HMS Centaur' (1784,) helped establish his reputation. Through economic necessity Northcote was compelled to pander to the popular taste for small fancy subjects, 'hack-work' as he called it, illustrating novels from the celebrated authors of the day. An ambitious moral series, entitled Diligence and Dissipation, which was intended to rival Hogarth's Marriage a la Mode (1796) proved a financial failure and Northcote returned to portrait painting in earnest.
SIZE:35.75 x 30.75 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE:
*Commissioned from the artist in 1782 for 8 guineas.
*Bequeathed to Charles Frederick Baylay, godson of Mr Frederick.
*Thence by family descent to the present day.
Sold with photocopies of various historical documents (some shown here).
Internal Ref: 8726



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