portrait of lady dorothy sherard c1745 by andrea soldi

Portrait of Lady Dorothy Sherard c.1745, by Andrea Soldi.


Price

£13,750
| $19,162 USD | €16,024 EUR


Item Ref

9207

Description

Oil on canvas in a fine period frame. This is a superb painting, an example of Soldi's finest work, with an excellent aristocratic provenance.
John Ingamells attributed this portrait to Soldi during his Directorship of the Wallace Collection (1977–92). Stylistically the portrait is very similar to a portrait of Lady Graham (d.1763) signed and dated 1743 (John Ingamells, ‘Andrea Soldi—a check-list of his work’, 'Walpole Society', XLVII, 1978–80, p. 10, cat. no. 33, pl. 2d). Philip Sherard, 2nd Earl of Harborough (d.1758) was painted at three-quarter length by Soldi at about the same time and this supports the suggestion that the sitter was perhaps his wife, Anne Pedley (Ingamells 1978–80, p. 11, cat. no. 35A, pl. 3b).
However, recent work by our researcher says:
"Starting (as one must) from the Soldi expertise of Ingamells, he suggests this should be dated to the mid-1740s and notes that Philip Sherard, 2nd Earl of Harborough sat to Soldi around that time.
Philip was born c1680 and died in 1750. As he married Anne Pedley in 1703, she would have been over 60 at this point, so the suggestion that the sitter is his wife really doesn't hold water: we need to drop down a generation...
There would seem to be two plausible contenders:
* Bennet Sherard, 3rd Earl of Harborough and son of the above, married (on 28 June 1748) Lady Elizabeth Verney, daughter of Ralph Verney, 1st Earl Verney of Middle Claydon Bucks, and Catherine Paschall. Elizabeth was born 2 May 1710, so this would fit (the sitter looks to be in her thirties), She bore multiple sons and daughters, but none survived infancy. She died in 1756. If you Google 'Manfamily.org' and find the pdf 'The Palmer Family of Roydon and Chelsea', there is a picture of the Countess on p251, a rather undistinguished work apparently by Thomas Hudson. It is supposed to be at Claydon House, but strangely doesn't appear on the NT register of contents! A possible likeness, but inconclusive in my opinion.
* Lady Dorothy Sherard, Bennet's sister, who married the Revd James Torkington, member of a gentry family with their seat at Stukeley Hall, Great Stukeley. James was Rector of King's Ripton and Little Stukeley, Hunts. Lady Dorothy was born 10 Nov 1707, married 1731 and died 1780. Their daughter Ann married religious and political reformer John Jebb and was herself a radical writer.
If you go to the Wikipedia page for the 2nd Earl, footnote 5 at the bottom takes you to "An 18th Century Leicestershire Squarson", a fascinating biography of the 4th Earl which provides chapter and verse about the earlier Sherard family's feuds and financial challenges. It also makes it clear that Dorothy and her husband remained very much at the heart of the family circle.
I would go for Lady Dorothy."
ANDREA SOLDI (1703-1771) was an Italian portraitist active in Britain.
Born in Florence and had come to England in about 1736 on the advice of British merchants belonging to the Levant Company, who had commissioned their portraits from him during his travels in the Middle East. From 1738 to 1744 he won much success in London's art market and among Italophile noblemen back from their Grand Tour, being preferred to both English portrait practice (fluctuating between Rococo and Kneller-like styles) and to other Italian portraitists in England at the time, such as the Cavaliere Rusca (worked in London 1738–39), and Andrea Casali (worked in London 1741–66). Beginning "above thirty portraits" from April to August 1738 alone (according to Vertue), Soldi's only serious rival was Jean-Baptiste van Loo (in London 1737–42). Particular rival was Jean-Baptiste van Loo (in London 1737–42). Particular patrons included the 2nd Duke of Manchester, 3rd Duke of Manchester, 3rd Duke of Beaufort and 4th Viscount Fauconberg. Soldi died in London.
SIZE: 37 x 31.75 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: The Earls of Harborough, Stapleford, Leicestershire, and by descent.
Internal Ref: 9207


Dimensions

Height = 94 cm (37")
Width = 80.5 cm (32")
Depth = 5 cm (2")


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