portrait of margaret neville attributed to henri gascar

Portrait of Margaret Neville; attributed to Henri Gascar.



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Oil on canvas in a fine carved and giltwood 18th century frame. Traditionally called Margaret Brooke, nee Neville, it seems more likely that the sitter was perhaps a daughter of Margaret. Margaret was born in 1618 and died in 1673. Her clothes, hairstyle and the working life of the artist Henri Gascars do not fit these dates; this portrait was painted c1680.
Lower left, the later inscription, 'Margaret Brooke Wife to/Thomas Brooke Esqr. and/Daughter of Sir Thomas Neville KB./eldest son of Henery 7th Ld/Abergavenny'
Margaret Neville was the daughter of Sir Thomas Neville KB, and married Thomas Brooke Esq.
In this delightful portrait, probably painted for a betrothal, the sitter holds flowers (peonies, which signify sincerity) and with a number of them in her lap. These latter signify her youth and future fruitfulness...the prime task of any aristocratic wife was to bear children, preferably a male heir. In her hair are some jasmine flowers, signifying aimiability of character.
HENRI GASCAR (1635 1701) (also Gascard, Gascars) was a French-born portrait painter who achieved artistic success in England during the reign of Charles II.
He painted many leading ladies at court, including several of the King's mistresses.
Gascar came to England about 1674, probably at the behest of Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth, Charles II's favourite mistress at that time. Gascar (or Gascard, as he seems to have spelt his name at first) was already known as a skilful portrait-painter.
His flamboyant style, contrasting with the stolid English approach, seemed to suit the frivolity of the time and he painted many of the ladies of Charles II's court. His lack of attention to detail in the likeness he made up for by the sumptuous draperies and adornments around the subject.
SIZE:57 x 47 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Linley Hall Collection.
Probably by descent to Catherine Smitherman and by descent to her daughter Catherine Edwardes and by descent to;
Sir Henry Hope Edwardes Baronet, of Wootton Hall, Derbyshire, and by descent to;
Colonel Herbert James Hope Edwardes, Netley Hall, Shropshire, and by descent to;
Lady More (nee Hope Edwardes, formerly Coldwell), Netley Hall, and subsequently Linley Hall, Shropshire, and by descent to;
the Late Sir Jasper and Lady More, Linley Hall.
After Lady More died in 1994, the house and collection were left to her her cousin and godson, who has now sold the house and dispersed the collection.
(The Edwardes family can trace their ancestry to the princes of Powys, the More family to the 13th century).
LITERATURE: Illustrated in situ in a photograph of the drawing room, Netley Hall c.1905, and subsequently at Linley Hall, c.1960.
T.Cox, Inventory of the contents of Netley Hall, Shropshire, 1917, page 4 (drawing room).
Internal Ref: 8940

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