Portrait of a Young Boy and His ...

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Oil on canvas in the original giltwood frame.
An endearing naïve portrait of a child and his pet dog. The artist has managed with the human figure but depicting the dog has stretched his talent to the utmost.
A charming touch is that the sitter is wearing a pair of toy spurs; perhaps they were a new acquisition and he insisted on wearing them...they certainly feature strongly.

SIZE: 36.5 x 30.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: A Kent country house.

Portrait of a Gentleman c.1680, by Mary ...

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A fine portrait by Mary Beale, in its original carved and giltwood frame. The sitter is depicted within a feigned stone oval ... a fashionable conceit much used by Beale and Lely.
The canvas is a coarse weave, often used by the artist. It may be 'onion bag', 'sacking' or 'Osnabrug', three of the types mentioned in the notes kept by Mary's husband, Charles Beale, who organised the purchase of her materials and primed the raw canvases. 'Osnabrug' was a coarse cloth of linen or hemp, manufactured in Osnabruck in Germany.

MARY BEALE (1633-1699) was born in Barrow, Suffolk, the daughter of John Cradock, a Puritan rector. Her mother, Dorothy, died when she was 10. Her father was an amateur painter, and member of the Painter-Stainers' Company, and she was acquainted with local artists, such as Nathaniel Thach, Matthew Snelling, Robert Walker and Peter Lely. In 1652, at the age of 18, she married Charles Beale, a cloth merchant from London - also an amateur painter.

She became a semi-professional portrait painter in the 1650s and 1660s, working from her home, first in Covent Garden and later in Fleet Street. Mary Beale was not the only female painter in England, but her name has survived as that of the only woman to make a successful living, and to enjoy a flourishing practice as a portraitist.
She became reacquainted with Sir Peter Lely, now Court Artist to Charles II. Her later work is heavily influenced by Lely, being mainly small portraits. He was Beale’s strongest artistic supporter. The friendship between Lely and Mary Beale enabled her, famously, to observe the master in the act of painting – a remarkable privilege – in order to study his technique. It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that many of her portraits have been misattributed to Lely or his Studio .She was widely reckoned to be Van Dyck's most accomplished copyist. Her grasp of Lely's colouring is evident, but the pleasant and direct manner in which she treats her sitters is entirely her own.

Beale was also a talented and intelligent writer, completing her ‘Discourse on Friendship’ [British Library] in 1667, in which she discusses friendship. Mary and her husband believed strongly in equality between man and wife, as shown by Mary’s ‘Essay on Friendship’. Without such equality, Mary believed, true friendship could not exist; ‘This being the perfection of friendship that it supposes its professors equal, laying aside all distance, & so levelling the ground, that neither hath therein the advantage of other.’

SIZE: 34 x 28.5 x 1.75 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Hillsleigh, The Hill, Burford, Oxfordshire.

Portrait of a Lady of the Palmer ...

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The lady is traditionally identified as a member of the Palmer family of Dorney Court, Berkshire.
The sitter, fashionably dressed in her daring 'undress', looks confidently at the viewer. This is a good example of the typical society portrait of the time and representative of Murray's best work. The use of the feigned stone oval was typical of the period.
The hand carved and gilded frame is a work of art in its own right.

THOMAS MURRAY 1663 – 1734.
He received his first lessons in art from one of the De Critz family. Subsequently he became a pupil of John Riley.
His works of before 1700 are more independent of the style of Sir Godfrey Kneller than his later portraits
Murray was successful financially. He died in June 1734, leaving no children, and bequeathed his money to a nephew, with instructions that his monument, with a bust, should be erected in Westminster Abbey, provided that it did not cost too much. His nephew, however, taking him at his word, buried him in St. Paul's, Covent Garden, and found the monument too expensive to erect.
SIZE: 34.5 x 29.5 inches including frame.
PROVENANCE: Horton Lodge, Windsor, Berkshire.

Portrait of Elizabeth Curteis (nee Papillon), 1748, ...

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A high quality oil on canvas in the original fine carved and giltwood frame. Almost certainly painted on the occasion of Elizabeth's marriage .
This portrait is a good example of Knapton's best work, perceptive and insightful of the character of the attractive young sitter.
The dress would have been painted by Joseph van Aken, the noted specialist drapery painter. Drapery painters were specialist painters who completed the dress, costumes and other accessories worn by the subjects of portrait paintings. They worked for portrait painters with a large clientele. Van Aken was recognised as one of the foremost drapery painters active in mid-18th-century England and was employed in that capacity by many leading and lesser known portrait painters of his time.

ElLIZABETH PAPILLON was born in 1724 and baptised on the 11th October, 1724 at St. Martin's Church, Acrise, Kent, England. She was the daughter of David Papillon (Fellow of the Royal Society and Member of Parliament) and Mary Keyser.
On the 18 Apr 1748 Rev. Thomas Curteis, Clerk, Rector of Sevenoaks, Kent, widower, (aged 30) married Elizabeth Papillon (aged 23) in the Diocese of Rochester, Kent, England.

A memorial on the floor of Sevenoaks Church, in black marble: "Beneath this marble are deposited the remains of the Rev'd Thomas Curteis, D.D. Who departed this life April the 27th, 1775, aged 69.”
“Likewise of Elizabeth his wife, who departed this life Sept. 1st 1786, Aged 62. Also the remains of Ann their Daughter, who died March 24th 1763, Aged 5 years and 8 months."

GEORGE KNAPTON (1668-1778) was an English portrait painter and the first portraitist for the Society of Dilettanti in the 1740s. He became Surveyor and Keeper of the King's Pictures from 1765 to 1778.
Knapton's largest painting was that of The Family of Frederick, Prince of Wales (1751, Royal Collection). He also painted portraits of the Earl of Upper Ossory (with his brother and sister), the Earl of Burlington, Admiral Sir John Norris, Francis, Fifth Duke of Leeds, Admiral George Vandeput, Archibald Bower, Nicolas Tindal, Hildebrand Jacob, Admiral Edward Hawke, and the singers Carestini and Lisabetta du Parc. For his portraits, he employed the specialist drapery painter Joseph Van Aken to paint the dresses and costumes of his sitters.

SIZE:38 x 32 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: From a Private Collection in France. The owner had bought the portrait at auction (Stephen Weisz) in Johannesburg; it had been consigned by a member of the Curteis family who lived in the area.

Portrait of a Young Gentleman by Frans ...

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Frans van der Mijn, (Myn) (1719 - 1783) was an 18th-century painter from the Northern Netherlands.

According to the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) he was the son of Herman van der Mijn and was born when his father moved to Düsseldorf to work for Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine. He influenced the painter James Latham. He worked in Amsterdam during the years 1742-1748 and worked in the Hague before returning to England where he worked on portraits and sent a painting in to the London Society of Artists each year during 1761-1772.

In 1750 Johan van Gool wrote about him, his father, his brothers Robert, George, Andreas and Gerard, and his sister Cornelia who were all good painters. He lived many years in England, and practised as a portrait painter, both in London and the country. He was some time at Norwich, where he painted several heads. He had considerable merit as an artist. He died in 1783.

SIZE: 34 x 28 x 2.5 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Bears Christie's stencil verso.
Latterly in a Dorset Private Collection for as long as any member of the family can remember.

Portrait of a Young Gentleman c.1685; Attributed ...

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Oil on canvas in later giltwood frame.

The fashionable and expensively dressed sitter looks confidently out of the frame as if surveying his extensive lands.
His high wig (from which fashion came the expression 'big-wig' for someone important), his silks, his sword and particularly his stance, all make this the archetypal Baroque portrait.
The pose and treatment of the material are typical of Kerseboom. The hugely expensive lace is depicted with great care and skill.
This type of portrait was usually on a larger scale e.g. 50 x 40 inches; the fact that this is 'in small' suggests that it was for the 'cabinet'...the intimate room for favoured possessions that was so fashionable during the Baroque period. Perhaps painted for a wife or lover?

JOHN (JOHANN) KERSEBOOM (working 1680s - 1708) Born in Solingen, the Rhineland; came to England in the 1680s he quickly acquired a large portrait clientele. His patterns derive from Lely and Kneller, but his heads have recognisable individuality. He charged £16 10s for a framed 50 x 40 in 1694.

SIZE:canvas size; 20 x 16 inches.
24.25 x 20 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection.

Portrait of a Lady and her Child ...

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Oil on canvas in the original frame.
Painted very much in the style of Lawrence, this is an enchanting double portrait with great charm and a sense of intimacy.
The skin tones are beautifully rendered and the costly jewellery depicted with with great care and accuracy. The young mother looks off to her right whilst her child, toying with a ring on the mother's hand, looks directly at us from across the centuries.

GEORGE HENRY HARLOW (1787-1819), was a highly-regarded English portrait painter.
He was born in St. James's Street, London, on 10 June 1787 and was for a short time at Westminster School, but having shown a predilection for painting, he was placed under Henry De Cort, the landscape-painter. He next worked under Samuel Drummond, A.R.A., the portrait-painter, but after about a year entered the studio of Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A.
Harlow determined to devote himself to painting, he remained for about eighteen months in Lawrence's studio, copying his pictures, and occasionally drawing preliminary portions of Lawrence's own productions. A difference about Harlow's work for one of Lawrence's pictures led to a breach with Lawrence.

Young, headstrong, and impatient of restraint, with a handsome person and amiable disposition, he was generally popular in society. He worked, however, with industry and enthusiasm in his art.
He exhibited for the first time at the Academy in 1804, sending a portrait of Dr. Thornton. In later years he exhibited many other portraits; his portraits are well conceived, and, though much in the manner and style of Lawrence, have a character of their own. His portraits of ladies were always graceful and pleasing.

In 1818 Harlow visited Italy for the purpose of studying the old masters. At Rome his personal gifts and accomplishments made him the hero of the day. He was elected a member for merit of the Academy of St. Luke at Rome, a most unusual distinction for an English artist, and was invited to paint his own portrait for the Uffizi gallery of painters at Florence. His artistic progress in Italy was remarkable, but on his return to England on 13 Jan. 1819 he was seized with a glandular affection of the throat, which proved fatal on 4 Feb.
He was in his thirty-second year. He was buried under the altar of St. James's, Piccadilly, and his funeral was attended by the eminent artists of the day.
Many of his portraits have been engraved, and those of James Northcote, Fuseli, Thomas Stothard, William Beechey, John Flaxman, and others are highly esteemed. His own portrait, painted by himself for the gallery at Florence, was engraved for Ranalli's Imperiale e Reale Galleria di Firenze.

SIZE: 42 x 35.5 inches including frame.
PROVENANCE: London Private Collection.
Verso: old labels for James Bourlet (storage) and the name of a previous owner and her Holland Park address in London (c.1950)

Portrait of a Lady c.1755, by William ...

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Pastel on paper in a fine gilded frame, both in superb condition.

The sitter is, as yet, unknown. Although painted in the mid 18th century she has chosen to depicted in the high fashion of a previous century; there was a craze for this at the time.
This is a portrait of the highest calibre and the sitter is sensitively portrayed. This beautifully preserved example of Hoare’s work demonstrates why he was so in demand by contemporaries and considered the finest exponent of the ‘darling modish study’ of pastel.

WILLIAM HOARE of Bath RA (c. 1707 – 12 December 1792) was a British portraitist, painter and printmaker, noted for his pastels. Born near Eye, Suffolk, Hoare received a gentleman's education in Faringdon. He showed an aptitude for drawing and was sent to London to study under Giuseppe Grisoni, who had left Florence for London in 1715. When Grisoni returned to Italy in 1728, Hoare went with him, travelling to Rome and continuing his studies under the direction of Francesco Imperiali. He remained in Rome for nine years, returning to London in 1737/8.

William Hoare was the first fashionable portraitist to settle in Bath, and he was the leading portraitist there until the arrival of Thomas Gainsborough in 1759. He remained the favourite of his powerful patron the Duke of Newcastle, his family, followers and political associates. Included amongst his other important patrons were the Earls of Pembroke and Chesterfield, and the Duke of Beaufort. With Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds, he was a founding member of the Royal Academy.
Hoare was closely involved with the running of the Royal Mineral Water Hospital in Bath from 1742. He served as a governor of the hospital, and became acquainted with Bath's notable visitors and the neighbouring landed families. Chalmers described him as 'an ingenious and amiable English painter'. He died at Bath on 12 December 1792.

SIZE: 33.5 x 27 x 3 inches.
PROVENANCE: With Peter Jones 1980s.
Private Collection.

Self Portrait, c.1800, by John Opie RA ...

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A recently rediscovered self-portrait by John Opie RA, dubbed during his lifetime as ‘The Cornish Wonder’.
Opie was one of the most prolific self-portraitists of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Britain. Ada Earland, who published a biography and list of works by the artist in 1911, references no fewer than fifty-four self-portraits of the artist. His incessant self-examination in paint ranks him alongside artists such as Rembrandt in this regard, to whom around eighty or so have been attributed. As Earland’s references make clear, many of Opie’s remain unaccounted for and are likely preserved in private collections across the globe.
Created at the turn of the century, this image shows the artist’s likeness looming out of a unfathomable darkness. The half-turned head with its dark hair and sideburn is set against the bright white necktie which suggests the shape of the sitter’s body and jacket. The extraordinary presence of the sitter is aided by the three-dimensionality and volume of the skull, achieved by the gradual build-up of thick paint noted in the forehead. The spotlight that picks out the artist’s boldly painted head particularly evokes the spirit of Baroque painting during the seventeenth century. It was Opie’s abilities in chiaroscuro which is said to have won the praise of Sir Joshua Reynolds, who reputedly described him as ‘like Caravaggio and Velazquez in one.’ These effects were often aided with the use of bitumen, undoubtedly influenced by the experiments of Sir Joshua, and which is evident in the shadows towards the top right of this painting. The brooding spirit of early-Romanticism, through the lens of a deep knowledge of the Old Masters, is what is particularly felt in this work.
This image was created when Opie was around the age of forty and successfully placed in the London art world. Born the son of a carpenter in a tin-mining district of Cornwall before being discovered as a child prodigy. His natural gifts in drawing were discovered by Dr John Walcot (1738-1819), whose protection and patronage helped to nurture the boy’s gifts before he was brought to London in 1781 where his works caused great sensation. He quickly received the patronage of the Royal Family alongside leading figures of the nobility and cultural elites. Opie was elected an Association of the Royal Academy in 1786 and was made an RA the following year. His successful portraits of the likes of Mary Delany, Mary Wollstonecraft, Samuel Johnson and Henry Fuseli have become some of the most lasting and iconic images of these sitters. Although also known as an artist of historical and genre scenes, his portraits have received perhaps the most enduring interest and fame since his death. His efforts in portraiture placed him in direct competition to the likes of Thomas Lawrence, James Northcote and Henry Fuseli.
The painting offered here derives from a type Earland published alongside the frontispiece of her book on the artist. This version, which contains the basic elements of this picture, was recorded in the possession of the Opie collector R. Hall McCormick of Chicago. This prototype must have been a significant one, as a printed version of it also appears in the Lectures on Painting published posthumously in 1809. This collected edition of Opie’s lectures presented at the Royal Academy from 1805 represented a high point in respectability for the painter the reason for which it was surely chosen. Although Opie did paint himself in the guise of a painter with brushes in hand, this particular image calls to mind his striking ability in capturing both character and a living presence.
Opie’s remains were interred in the crypt of London’s St. Pauls’s Cathedral after his death at the age of 45 in 1807. This location, in the crypt next to Reynolds, demonstrated the high regard felt for the painter amongst his contemporaries.
SIZE: 31 x 26 ½ inches in what seems to be the original frame.
PROVENANCE: UK private collection

Portrait of a Gentleman c.1735, Attributed to ...

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Oil on canvas in a gilt moulded frame.

JONATHAN RICHARDSON (1665–1745) was the leading native-born portrait painter of the first forty years of the century, also a writer on art and literary topics. He was a pupil of Riley and eventually his heir.
Richardson and Jervas were the busiest native-born portrait painters in rivalry with Kneller and Dahl. Jervas excelled with women's portraits and Richardson was best with men. His works are sound, solid, good likenesses, and unpretentious; this portrait is a fine example.
His writings were immensely influential and fired Reynolds with the desire to become a painter.

SIZE: 38 inches x 33 inches framed.
PROVENANCE: North Country private collection. Verso: an old label for T. Rushworth and Son, Carvers and Gilders, Durham.

Portrait of Mary Dodding 1677, by John ...

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Oil on canvas in a gilt reproduction frame of correct type.
This is a very high quality portrait typical of Wright's fine and sensitive work, with the haunting sense of character that Wright conveys. He would appear to have been far more interested in conveying intelligence than rivals such as Lely, and here, as always, we sense that the sitter is of an alert and enquiring mind.
Inscribed upper left "Mary, Daughter of George Dodding Esq. A.D. 1677."
This is almost certainly a portrait painted to mark Mary's marriage to Thomas Preston.

The surname Dodding was first found in Somerset at Doddington, which predates the Norman Conquest dating back to c. 975 when it was first listed as Dundingtune. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, the village was known as Dodington.
There are other places similarly named in the Domesday Book but this is the only pre-Conquest village making it of Saxon origin. In early days, some of the family were found much further north in Cumberland at Kirk-Oswald where the estates of Kirk-Oswald were granted by Elizabeth I to the Dodding family.

MARY DODDING was the daughter of George Dodding Esq. of Conishead Priory; he was the son of Colonel George Dodding, (who had raised and commanded one of the Lancashire Regiments of Foot for Parliament during the Civil War, mainly recruited around Cartmel and Grange-over-Sands)
Colonel Dodding was the son of Miles Dodding Esq, of Conishead Priory, Lancashire.

Mary married Thomas Preston M.P. for Lancaster in, it is thought, 1677. Thomas was born in 1646 and died in 1697. He is buried at Cartmel, Cumbria. Mary's birth and death dates are not known, but the marriage was brief as Thomas married again and had two children from that union. There were no offspring from his earlier marriage, so it is very probable that Mary died in childbirth as was very common.

JOHN MICHAEL WRIGHT (May 1617 – July 1694) was a portrait painter in the Baroque style. Described variously as English and Scottish, Wright trained in Edinburgh under the Scots painter George Jamesone, and acquired a considerable reputation as an artist and scholar during a long sojourn in Rome. There he was admitted to the Accademia di San Luca, and was associated with some of the leading artists of his generation. He was engaged by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, the governor of the Spanish Netherlands, to acquire artworks in Oliver Cromwell's England in 1655. He took up permanent residence in England from 1656, and served as Court Painter before and after the English Restoration. He was a favourite of the restored Stuart court, a client of both Charles II and James II, and was a witness to many of the political manoeuvres of the era.
Wright is currently rated as one of the leading indigenous British painters of his generation, largely for the distinctive realism in his portraiture. Perhaps due to the unusually cosmopolitan nature of his experience, he was favoured by patrons at the highest level of society in an age in which foreign artists were usually preferred. Wright's paintings of royalty, aristocracy and gentry are included amongst the collections of many leading galleries today.

SIZE: 35.25 x 30.25 inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: latterly in a private collection in Sidmouth, Devon.


Portrait of Jean Davidson, Mrs. Robertson, 18th ...

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Oil on canvas in a distressed 19th century frame.
This is a pleasing 18th century portrait of an attractive sitter with Jacobite connections.

JEAN DAVIDSON married Andrew Robertson, owner of the Scottish estate of Foveran. Jean, Countess of Dunfermline was her godmother.
Andrew's brother William was in the bodyguard of Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden. After the defeat to the Jacobite forces he fled to Sweden where he made a fortune. After some years he returned and bought an estate in Scotland.
His cousin James, 5th Earl of Southesk, had been attainted for the Jacobite Rising in 1715 and the earldom was not restored until 1855.
Andrew, Jean's husband, quarrelled with their eldest son William and he left the estate of Foveran to William's brother. Alexander, William's son, as his father did not inherit the estate went to live in China where he made a fortune. Returning home he spent it all so he returned to China where he made another(moderate) fortune.
ALLAN RAMSAY 1713–1784.
Ramsay was born in Edinburgh; he studied in London at St Martin's Lane Academy and at Hans Hysing's studio, before going to Italy to study. On his return he settled in London, although he continued to be active in Edinburgh. Between 1754 and 1757 he was in Italy, mostly in Rome. During his prime period he had a virtual monopoly on court painting. He became the official painter to George III in 1760, and Principal Painter-in-Ordinary in 1767. His assistants included David Martin, Alexander Nasmyth and Philip Reinagle.
SIZE:34.25 x 29 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Dorset.