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SOLD......Portrait of a Young Boy; English School c.1710
Oil on canvas in gilt frame.

A charmingly naive early Georgian portrait of a boy, probably provincial gentry, with a songbird on his finger.

SIZE: 32 x 27 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Kent.
Ref: 8603
This item has been sold

SOLD......Portrait of a Young Gentleman c.1740; English School
Oil on canvas in an 18th c. giltwood frame.

A pleasing mid 18th century portrait of a good-looking young man painted by an unknown artist; probably one of the many intinerant painters who travelled the country painting the lesser gentry and prosperous mercantile classes.
However, this portrait is well above average for its type, the face is sensitively painted and with a real feeling of the nature of the sitter; all in all a very attractive early Georgian portrait.

SIZE: 31.75 x 28.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: by descent in the south of England.

Verso: old label of "White & Co. Ltd., Furniture Depositories. Bournemouth depot: branches in Portsmouth, Southampton, Winchester and London.
Client's name 'Mrs. Cowland'."
Ref: 8537
This item has been sold

SOLD......Portrait of Alexander Pope (?) c. 1730: Circle of Jonathan Richardson.
Oil on canvas in gilded frame.

An interesting portrait of a gentleman, thought to be Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744).
Pope was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. Famous for his use of the heroic couplet, he is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson.

Painted in the intimate 'cabinet' size, often made as a gift, the portrait shows in the background an impressive Classical stone terrace; the sitter prominantly displays a double sealed letter which seems to have been written by him, as on his desk are sheets of writing paper and a pen.

In 1731 Pope wrote his "Epistle to Burlington" to the amateur architect, Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington (1674-1753). Burlington was a close friend of Alexander Pope, whose "Epistle to Burlington" acknowledges his great taste in both architecture and landscape design.
Does the Palladian terrace acknowledge Burlington's revival of the architecture of Palladio, and does the envelope symbolise one of Pope's famous epistles? Perhaps.

(An epistle is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic letter.)

(Image 4 shows a portrait of Pope when younger and painted in 1718 by Richardson).

JONATHAN RICHARDSON (1665–1745) sometimes called "the Elder" to distinguish him from his son) was an English artist, collector of drawings, and writer on art, working almost entirely as a portrait-painter in London.
Richardson was born in 1666, as an apprentice, he learnt the art of portraiture from Riley whilst living at his master's house. Richardson's wife was Riley's niece.

Richardson was even more influential as a writer than as a painter according to Samuel Johnson. He is credited with inspiring Joshua Reynolds to paint and theorise with his 1715 book 'An Essay on the Theory of Painting'.

In 1731 he was considered by some art-critics as one of the three foremost painters of his time with Charles Jervas and Michael Dahl. He was the master of Thomas Hudson and George Knapton.

SIZE: 23 x 28.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Somerset Private Collection.
Ref: 8658N
This item has been sold

(ONE OF THE PAIR OF THE BABINGTON PORTRAITS). Oil on canvas of Mathew Babington of Rothley Temple, Leicestershire, painted in 1645 during the Civil War (1642–1651).
Inscription bottom right 'Aet 32. Ao 1645' (Aged 32 in 1645), also bears intitials 'DMf' ("Daniel Mytens fecit" i.e. Daniel Mytens made this).
Upper left the Babington coat of arms with the motto "Foy est Tout" (Faith is All) a phrase reputedly said to Henry V on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt in 1431 by Thomas Babington, a squire in the King's personal retinue.
The sitter is expensively and fashionably dressed with much play of silk, lace and silver; in the background the formal gardens of Rothley Temple.
The house still stands; now known as Rothley Court, it has been an hotel since 1960. (See image 5).
Rothley Temple originally belonged to the Knights Templar from 1203, then the Knights Hospitaller until their supression in the 1560s, when it was acquired by the Babingtons.

MATTHEW BABINGTON, Lord of the Manor and Soke of Rothley (1612-1669) son of Thomas Babington and Catherine, daughter of George Kendall of Smithsby, Derbyshire. He was educated at Queens College, Cambridge, then the Inner Temple in 1631, called to the Bar in 1640.
He had married (with £2000) Anne Hopkins in 1634.
Babington was a Justice of the Peace 1657-9 and Commissioner for Militia in 1660.
The Babingtons had moved into the East Midlands early in the 15th century, one of them sitting for Nottinghamshire in 1426. Matthew's father was a member of the County Committee and his brother Thomas was a Captain of Horse for Parliament during the Civil War and was involved in Booth's Rising in 1659.
Matthew himself was a Royalist who was imprisoned in Lambeth House on a charge of levying war against Parliament and corresponding with the enemy.
On the Accession of Charles II in 1660 Babington became M.P. for Leicester and used his Royalist service to the King to get his brother, Thomas, pardoned and, in fact, advanced to be a Major in the Royal Service!
Two years after Matthew's death in 1669 King Charles II obtained a Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge, for his younger son, also Matthew, in consideration of Babington's "eminent loyalty...both to the hazard of his life and the impairing of his estate".

SIZE: canvas 44 x 39 inches.
PROVENANCE: by descent through the Babington family.

Ref: 8586
This item has been sold

SOLD.....Portrait of a Gentleman 1743 attributed to Moses Vanderbank
Oil on canvas in reproduction frame.

A portrait of a gentleman, the canvas inscribed 'M V Pinxt 1743' (M V painted this in 1743).

The subject has his right hand tucked into his coat; this was the accepted symbol of the sitter being a gentleman, who did not work for a living, rather than, for example, a prosperous merchant or lawyer.
His left arm rests upon a plinth...this also is symbolic, signifying the architecture of a large house and estate.
The man stands in a straight backed pose wearing a serious expression, this being considered the correct way for a gentleman of wealth and breeding to present himself to the world.

This is a 'textbook example' of mid 18th c. British portraiture.

Almost certainly this gentleman is the husband of the sitter in portrait 8410, 'Portrait of a Lady 1743; attributed to Moses Vanderbank'.

The portrait is very much in the style of JOHN VANDERBANK (1694-1739), especially the rubbed highlights and the treatment of the flesh tones - where a hot pink and cool grey-green are juxtaposed to suggest glowing skin.
These are Vanderbank's 'trademarks' and instantly recognisable.

However, John died four years before this painting was created.
I believe the answer is that the portrait is by his younger brother MOSES VANDERBANK (1695-after1745). He was a pupil of John's and has followed his brother's manner well. John nearly always signed and dated his portraits, it seems that Moses was influenced even by this.
No other works by Moses have survived, apart from three altarpieces in the 12th c. church at Adel, near Leeds.

Moses Vanderbank was even more improvident than his elder brother who was notorious for drunkenness and debt...it was said that only intemperance prevented John from being the best portraitist of his generation.
Moses did not have a talent as great as his brother's, but, as can be seen here, he could produce a portrait of charm and competence.

SIZE: 36 x 28 inches unframed

PROVENANCE: an East Anglian Collection for many years.

Ref: 8412
This item has been sold

SOLD.....Portrait of a Gentleman c. 1685; attributed to Mary Beale
Oil on canvas in good quality 17th c. carved and giltwood frame.

The sitter is depicted within Mrs. Beale's 'trademark' sculpted stone oval; he regards the viewer with a rather haughty look. His wig is in the height of fashion as is his exquisite lace cravat.

The armour he wears may merely be a symbol of wealth and status or it might reveal that he earned his living fighting in one of the many European wars of the time.
Many aristocrats and members of the gentry who found themselves short of money took part in these campaigns as mercenaries. It was considered that military service was the only option for the impecunious well-bred; to enter Trade was to put oneself beyond the pale...social death.

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.

Her work is represented in many country house collections, art galleries and museums.

SIZE: 37 x 31.5 inches inc. frame.

PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Yorkshire.
Ref: 8470
This item has been sold

SOLD.....Portrait of a Gentleman c.1720; Circle of Kneller
Oil on canvas in original carved and giltwood frame.

A good quality early 18th century portrait by a member of Kneller's Circle, or possibly his Studio.
The artist, not as yet identified, had considerable talent.

The expensively dressed and wigged man (quite literally the local 'bigwig'!) gestures with his right hand towards what one presumes is his land and the flocks of sheep. Wool, the source of his wealth.

SIR GODFREY KNELLER (1646 - 1723) was the most profound influence on late 17th and 18th c. portraiture. By 1679 he had painted the King and remained the most famous and successful portrait painter in England; in 1688 he was appointed Principal Painter to the King. He maintained a busy studio with talented assistants to help with the demand for his work.

SIZE:58 x 48 inches inc. frame.

The frame is in basically good condition, with some signs of damage at the front, and there are a large number of old and inactive woodworm holes to the back. These do not affect the integrity of the frame and are harmless. Extensive losses to the gilt.

PROVENANCE: This portrait, with others of the same family, hung for many years in a large house in Essex until December 2009.

Ref: 8519
This item has been sold

SOLD.....Portrait of a Lady c.1675; Circle of Henri Gascar.
Oil on canvas in carved giltwood frame.

The fashionably, and expensively, dressed young lady is depicted as Diana the Huntress, goddess of the hunt, moon and birthing.
The sitter holds a bow and her hunting dogs are by her side.
The celestial character of Diana is reflected in her connection with light, inaccessibility, virginity, and her preference for dwelling on high mountains and in sacred woods. She is seen as active in ensuring the succession of kings and in the preservation of humankind through the protection of childbirth.

At this time in the 17th century to have oneself painted as a character from myth, legend or even as a saint was the height of fashion.

HENRI GASCAR (1635 – 1 Jan 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 skillful 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.

On his return to Paris, Gascar was elected a member of the Académie Royale on 26 October 1680. He subsequently went to Rome, where he enjoyed a high reputation, and died there in January 1701, aged 66.

SIZE: 34 x 29 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Berkshire.
Ref: 8618
This item has been sold

SOLD.....Portrait of a Young Lady c. 1765; Circle of Francois-Hubert Drouais
Oil on canvas in a good carved and giltwood frame, modern but of the correct 18th c. French style.

The sitter, a beautiful young French lady, is dressed in the height of fashion for an outdoor stroll. She leans on a stone balustrade whilst holding roses...the symbol of youth, beauty and love, but also a symbol of time and how quickly it passes.
One rose is still little more than a bud, as if to say that the girl has yet to bloom into her full mature beauty...time is still on her side.
The sitter looks confidently, almost provocatively, at the viewer; secure in her wealth and youth.

This is an attractive portrait extremely well painted...the treatment of the silks, lace and the youthful flesh tones are very accomplished.

FRANCOIS-HUBERT DROUAIS (1727-1775) trained under Boucher and was strongly influenced by his style; he became a rival to Nattier as a fashionable portraitist. His portraits have a gracious and slightly artificial charm redolent of the French Court.
Painting mainly the aristocracy, he was particularly successful with children, but his best known portrait is probably that of Madame de Pompadour, mistress to Louis XV.

SIZE: 34 x 30.5 inches inc. frame.

PROVENANCE: Private Collection.
Ref: 8459
This item has been sold

SOLD.....Portrait of Mother and Child c.1795-1800 by Weaver.
Oil on canvas in period giltwood frame.

This tender double portrait of a mother and her daughter is beautifully composed and executed. The mother sits in a mahogany armchair, her daughter on her lap, with a stone column in the background and a fragment of landscape beyond.
The positioning of the sitters arms and heads sweeps the viewer's eye round in an embracing circle within which is a timeless display of love and affection of a mother and her child.

At the base of the column is the signature "Weaver". There was a portraitist, M. Weaver, working in Bath who is documented as paying a visit to Ireland in 1766/67, but this is all that is recorded of him.
Whether the artist is that Weaver or another is purely academic, what matters is that the artist had considerable talent and insight into the humanity of his sitters, and thus was able to express this love without in any way being overly sentimental.

In his painting style he was clearly influenced by the fashionable John Hoppner.
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.

SIZE: 33 x 26.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: English Private Collection.
VERSO: old framer's label for A. R. Skillen & Co. Bloomsbury.
Ref: 8643
This item has been sold

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