portrait of captain mackinley c1830 by sir william beechey

Portrait of Captain Mackinley c.1830, by Sir William Beechey.


Price

£7,950
| $10,586 USD | €9,008 EUR


Item Ref

9165

Description

Oil on canvas in the original very fine frame.
This is an excellent portrait typical of the period; the handsome sitter has a fashionable brooding, Byronic look, with the dark background enhancing the drama and encouraging the viewer to concentrate on the sitter's face.
The sitter is thought to be Thomas George MacKinley (1809-1865); he was the son of John Mackinley and Maria Cates. Born in London, he was an officer in the Royal Navy, becoming a captain in July 1830.
The Mackinleys are related by marriage to the eminent Copeman and Boord families with connections to Wakehurst Place, Sussex.
SIR WILLIAM BEECHEY RA (12 December 1753 – 28 January 1839) was a leading English portraitist during the golden age of British painting. Beechey was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools in 1772, where he is thought to have studied under Johan Zoffany. He first exhibited at the Academy in 1776. His earliest surviving portraits are small-scale full-length and conversation pieces which are reminiscent of Zoffany. In 1782, he moved to Norwich, where he gained several commissions, including a portrait of Sir John Wodehouse and a series of civic portraits for St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich. By 1787, he had returned to London, and in 1789, he exhibited a celebrated portrait of John Douglas, Bishop of Carlisle (now in Lambeth Palace). Beechey’s career during this period is marked by a succession of adept and restrained portraits in the tradition of Sir Joshua Reynolds.
In 1793, he was commissioned to paint a full-length portrait of Queen Charlotte and subsequently named as her official portrait painter. That same year, he was elected as an associate member of the Royal Academy. Following his royal appointment, the number of royal commissions he undertook increased markedly, and in 1797 he exhibited six royal portraits. In 1798, he was elected a full member of the Royal Academy and painted George III and the Prince of Wales Reviewing Troops for that year’s academy’s exhibition. This enormous composition depicts King George III, the Prince of Wales and staff officers on horseback at an imagined cavalry review in Hyde Park. The king was reported to be delighted with the painting and rewarded Beechey with a knighthood.[ Joseph Farington's Diaries give many accounts of Beechey's relations with the royal family during this period, including his temporary fall from favour in 1804, which Farington attributes to the vagaries of George III’s mental condition.
Beechey's portraits of the turn of the century are considered to be his most lively. They are closer to the flamboyant and free techniques employed by his younger rivals, John Hoppner and Sir Thomas Lawrence.
Royal patronage resumed in around 1813, when Beechey was appointed portrait painter to Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester, and culminated with his appointment in 1830 as principal portrait painter to King William IV. In 1836, Beechey retired to Hampstead and on 9-11 June that year, the contents of his studio along with his collection were sold at Christie’s.
Although capable of impetuousness and irascibility, Beechey was known for his generosity to students. In particular, he took a close interest in the career of the young John Constable.
SIZE: 37.25 x 32 x 3.5 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: By descent to the estate of the Copeman family.
VERSO: faded old paper label and a copperplate inscription "Painted by Sir William Beechey".
Internal Ref: 9165


Dimensions

Height = 94 cm (37")
Width = 81 cm (32")
Depth = 9 cm (4")


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