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Our website was last updated on: 22 June 2017
 
(B) PORTRAITS SOLD
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SOLD...Portrait of Thomas Cookson c.1735, by Jonathan Richardson
Oil on canvas in 18th c. giltwood frame.

The sitter was a member of the Cookson family of Cumberland and Yorkshire; he died in 1773.
Thomas's father William (died 1743) was a wealthy merchant and pewterer in Penrith. He married Susannah Idle in 1701.
The Cooksons also owned ironworks and colleries. Thomas's uncle was the Reverend Joseph Cookson, Vicar of Leeds.
The poet William Wordsworth's mother was a Cookson.

This portrait, with seven others of the Cooksons hung in Keith Hall, Aberdeenshire, home of the Earls of Kintore. It can only be presumed that there was some marital conection between the families, as why else would a powerful aristocratic Scottish family dating back to the 12th century have eight portraits of an English mercantile middle-class family hanging in their ancestral home?

The sitter, Thomas Cookson, expensively bewigged and wearing the fashionable silk wrap of a gentleman at leisure, looks rather inquiringly at the viewer. He seems at ease, and his build and ruddy complexion indicate a man who enjoyed good living.
The face is beautifully painted and a strong sense of the character of the sitter is present; absolutely typical of Richardson's mature English style.

JONATHAN RICHARDSON c.1665 - 1745 was the leading native born painter of the first forty years of the century, also a writer on art and literary topics. He was a pupil of Riley 1688-91 and helped found the 1711 Academy; he and Jervas were the busiest English portrait painters in rivalry with Kneller and Dahl. Jervas excelled with women's portraits and Richardson with men.
His works, like the example here, are solid, sound, good likenesses, and unpretentious.

SIZE: 39 x 32 inches inc. frame
PROVENANCE: By descent to the 14th Earl of Kintore of Keith Hall, Aberdenshire.

(The fourth photograph shows Keith Hall as it is today.)
Ref: 8498
This item has been sold





SOLD...Portrait of a Lady in White; Studio or Circle of Hoppner
Oil on canvas mounted on board in a magnificent 'Duveen' Louis XV style 19th c. carved and giltwood frame of great quality.
(Frame bears an old plaque incorrectly attributing the portrait to Reynolds).

With Gainsborough and Reynolds, JOHN HOPPNER (1758 - 1810) was one of the leading portrait painters in late eighteenth-century Britain. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1775, where he won a Gold Medal in 1782. His rapid rise was accompanied by rumours (never denied by Hoppner) that he was the illegitimate son of the future King George III, and it is true that in his education and early career Hoppner benefited from a considerable degree of royal sponsorship. He was brought up as a child of the Chapel Royal, tutored in the Royal Library where King George paid great attention to his progress, and finally presented him with an allowance in order that he might establish himself as a painter.

By the late 1780s Hoppner was a regular contributor to the Royal Academy exhibitions and quickly established himself as a fashionable portrait painter. In 1789 he succeeded Reynolds in his appointment as painter to the Prince of Wales in 1789, many of whose circle he painted.

Though his early works display a great debt to Reynolds, Hoppner soon developed an individual style that is distinguished by bravura and vivacity, combined with a strong feeling of character. These works show a deliberate move away from the classicism of Reynolds, towards a more emotionally engaging and naturalistic image. Hoppner’s success is evident by the fact that he became the only serious rival to Lawrence, and with him was responsible for painting the finest Romantic portraits of the Regency period.

Although this portrait is by an artist painting in the style of Hoppner (rather than by Hoppner himself) he has captured precisely the bravura technique, the bold brushwork, the painterly delight in using the medium and the sense of harmonious feeling which were characteristic of the artist.
While Reynolds’ advised his pupils to rely upon academic study, preparation and drawing, Hoppner preferred to begin working immediately with oils on the canvas. It was precisely this free and fluid approach that allowed Hoppner to capture character, emotion and presence.

SIZE: 56.5 x 46 inches inc. frame
43 x 35 inches canvas size
PROVENANCE: From the London apartment of Laurence Kane, the noted New York decorator.


Ref: 8500
This item has been sold




SOLD....Portrait of a Gentleman c.1675; Circle of Mary Beale
Oil on canvas of a gentleman, depicted within a feigned oval architectural cartouche, in a gilt frame.

MARY BEALE (1633-99) was born Mary Cradock, daughter of the Rev. John Cradock in Suffolk; in 1651 she married Charles Beale, Lord of the Manor of Walton, and moved to London. She was already known as a painter by 1654 and she was strongly influenced by Sir Peter Lely, Principal Painter to the King and famous Court and Society portraitist.
Lely was a friend of Mrs.Beale and she sometimes copied his work and frequently used his poses in her portraits.

She often depicts a stone oval heavily sculpted with fruit or flowers. The sitter's eyes tend to be almond shaped and her colouring pure and rich.

It was most unusual for a woman to take up a professional career as an artist at this time, but her studio thrived; her most active period was the 1670s and early '80s. Mary Beale died at Pall Mall and is buried in St. James's Church, Piccadilly.

SIZE: 36 x 30.5 inches inc. frame.
30.25 x 25.5 inches (canvas)
PROVENANCE: Collection of the late Dr. William Lindsay Gordon.
Ref: 8502
This item has been sold




SOLD...Portrait of Charles Le Brun c.1670; Circle of John Riley
Oil on canvas in carved giltwood frame.

CHARLES LE BRUN (1619-1691). French painter and art theorist, the dominant artist of Louis XIV's reign. After training with Vouet he went to Rome in 1642 and worked under Poussin, becoming a convert to the latter's theories of art. He returned to Paris in 1646. From 1661 he became established in the employ of Louis XIV, in 1662 he was raised to the nobility and named Premier Paintre du Roi, and in 1663 he was made director of the reorganized Academie, which he turned into a channel for imposing a codified system of orthodoxy in matters of art. His lectures came to be accepted as providing the official standards of artistic correctness.
Despite the Classicism of his theories, Lebrun's own talents lay rather in the direction of flamboyant and grandiose decorative effects. Among the most outstanding of his works for the king were the Galerie d'Apollon at the Louvre (1663), and the famous Galerie des Glaces (1679-84) and the Great Staircase (1671-78, destroyed in 1752) at Versailles. His importance in the history of French art is twofold: his contributions to the magnificence of the Grand Manner of Louis XIV and his influence in laying the basis of academicism. Many of the leading French artists of the next generation trained in his studio. Artists over the whole of Europe accepted this style as the paragon of academic and propagandistic art. Lebrun was a fine portraitist and an extremely prolific draughtsman.

JOHN RILEY (1646-1691) began practising painting at a young age, which probably meant he was independently wealthy. He became a fashionable society portrait painter. At the height of his success, in the 1680s, Riley charged £40 for a full-length portrait, a considerable amount of money at this time. In 1689, together with Godfrey Kneller, he was appointed Principal Painter to King William III and Queen Mary.

SIZE: 35 x 30.25 inches inc. frame
PROVENANCE: Collection of Viscount Halifax,
given by him to Madame R. de l' Hopital.
Bought by Dr. William Lindsay Gordon at Christie's, 26 January 1968, lot 73 as by Kneller.
Dr. Gordon was a true conoisseur of the decorative arts; he travelled England collecting antiques with a British heritage especially of the Stuart period.


Ref: 8501
This item has been sold




SOLD....Portrait of a Lady in Blue 1745, by Charles Sommers
Oil on canvas in reproduction gilt frame.
Signed and dated lower left 'C. Sommers Pinxt 1745'.
This pleasing portrait is absolutely typical of its period. The artist clearly influenced by Thomas Hudson who was the fashionable portrait painter of the time.

CHARLES SOMMERS (fl. 1739-1753) worked in London and is known as a painter of small-scale full lengths often in the manner of Arthur Devis. This Hudsonesque portrait is not characteristic of Sommers; perhaps it was a special commission or an image of a member of his family?
He was successful enough to take on Richard Linnell as his apprentice in August 1752. His large group portrait of 'Sir William More-Molyneaux and Family'of 1739 is at Losely.

SIZE: 38 x 32.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Wiltshire private collection

Ref: 8505
This item has been sold




SOLD...Portrait of a Lady in Blue by Heins; 1731
Oil on canvas.
Portrait of a Young Lady by John Theodore Heins, signed and dated 1731, in a carved and giltwood frame.

John Theodore Heins(1697-1756), also known as Dietrich or Dirk; born in Germany, settled in Norwich (at that time a city second in importance only to London) in 1720. He made a good living painting the local prosperous merchants and gentry.
In the 1720's he signed 'D. Heins' and later usually 'Heins Pinxit' (Heins painted this) or 'Heins Fecit' (Heins made this),occasionally 'Heins'.
His work is in Norwich Castle Museum, the British Museum, Felbrigg Hall (National Trust), Cambridge University and others.

SIZE 35 x 30 inc. frame
Ref: 8307
This item has been sold




SOLD...Portrait of a Young Lady c.1690. Attributed to Henry Tilson
Oil on canvas.

This charming portrait has the amusing conceit of the sitter reaching out of the cartouche within which she is painted. She holds flowers, which signify youth, beauty, innocence and their fleeting nature.

HENRY TILSON (1659-1695) was born to a minor gentry family. He was a pupil and later assistant to Sir Peter Lely (Principal Painter to the King). He then worked with Kneller; by 1690 he had established a successful practice in portraits in a style between Kneller and Riley, being known as 'a painter of great charm'.
Tragically he committed suicide at the age of 36 after a love affair ended. His work can be seen in The British Museum; London Guildhall Art Gallery; The National Gallery of Ireland etc.

SIZE: 37 x 32 inc. frame
PROVENANCE: Collection of Sir Elton John.
Ref: 8325
This item has been sold




SOLD...Portrait of a Young Boy; English School c.1720
Oil on canvas.

A charmingly naive Georgian portrait of a boy, probably provincial gentry, touching a dove; a landscape in the background. Although possibly the sitter's pet, a dove also symbolises peace and love.

SIZE: 31 x 27 inches inc. frame
Ref: 8331
This item has been sold




SOLD...Portrait of Sophia-Dorothea, Princess of Celle: Continental School c.1700
Portrait of Sophia-Dorothea of Celle (Zeel) 1666-1726.
Oil on canvas, inscribed 'S. de Zeel' and bearing the pre-1707 English Royal coat of arms.

Sophia-Dorothea was the only child of George William of Brunswick-Celle and Eleanore d'Olbreuze. In 1682 she was married, aged sixteen, for political and dynastic reasons, to her cousin George of Hanover, who later became King of England. She bore him two children, one of whom became George ll of England. This marriage was a very unhappy one; Sophia was hated by her mother-in-law the Electress of Hanover and these feeling were soon shared by George himself.
George was a coarse and boorish man with no interest in the arts and literature which appealed to his wife. It was under these circumstances that Sophia met the dashing cavalry officer Count Philip Christophe von Konigsmark of Sweden; he assisted her in two futile attempts to escape from Hanover and, rightly or wrongly, was regarded as her lover.
Through the political machinations and intrigues of the Countess von Platen, her father-in-law's long term mistress and Konigsmark's spurned lover, Sophia and Konigsmark were betrayed. On 1 July 1694 Konigsmark disappeared and was never seen again; it was rumoured throughout Europe that George had ordered his wife's lover to be hacked to death, and many years later a mutilated skeleton was discovered buried beneath George's palace of Herrenhausen.

What really shocked the nobility of Europe was George's treatment of Sophia; she was divorced, forbidden to see her children again and then imprisoned in the Castle of Ahlden for the rest of her life.
She was twenty-eight and was to remain locked away for another thirty-two years until her death. As Sophia died of fever she raved at the cruelty and wickedness of her husband; George was so incensed he refused to allow her name to be inscribed on her coffin.

Sophia-Dorothea's tragic life has been made into an Oscar winning film 'Saraband for Dead Lovers' (1948) starring Stewart Granger as Konigsmark and Joan Littlewood as Sophia; also at least three novels, including the best seller 'The Princess of Celle' by Jean Plaidy.

SIZE: 37 x 28 inc. frame
Ref: 8330
This item has been sold




SOLD...Portrait of Sir John Potts, Baronet; Antwerp School
Oil on canvas in mid 17th c. style frame (19th c.)

The Antwerp School, numbering among its members Rubens, Van Dyck and Lievens, was renowned for its quality at a time when Flemish art was pre-eminent in Europe and extremely influential in England.
This painting, of remarkable sensitivity and insight, is by an artist as yet unidentified but unquestionably of great talent. The Potts family of Norfolk lived in Mannington Hall, a mid 15th c. moated manor house now owned by Lord and Lady Walpole.

SIZE: 43 x 37 inc. frame
PROVENANCE: The Bryan Hall Collection, Benningham Old Rectory, Norfolk.(Mr. Hall's collection, built up over 60 years, was acquired mainly from Country house sales of the great Norfolk families during the post war years.A photograph shows this painting hanging on the stairwell of the Old Rectory).
VERSO: Old hand written label 'Sir John Potts 2nd Baronet, age 25 c.1645(?). No. 30'. Old Christies stencil '59 5 LX' and a chalk inscription 'June 17 '59'..presumably the date acquired by Mr. Hall. Late 19th c. label of W. Boswell of London Street, Norwich 'Old Pictures Lined, Cleaned and Restored'
Ref: 8335
This item has been sold



 
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