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Our website was last updated on: 25 March 2017
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SOLD....Portrait of Elizabeth Butler, Countess of Chesterfield(?) c.1660; Circle of Lely.
Oil on canvas, mounted on board, in giltwood frame.
Thought to be Elizabeth Butler, Countess of Chesterfield, this is an attractive portrait of an atractive young woman of the Restoration period.
Certainly the sitter does bear a resemblance to Elizabeth Butler as depicted by Lely in a three-quarter length portrait owned by the Chevening Trust.

Lady Elizabeth was born at Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny, Ireland on 29 June 1640, the eldest daughter of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde and Lady Elizabeth Preston.

She married Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield some time before 25 September 1660. He was one of the lovers of the notorious Barbara Villiers, mistress of King Charles II of England. There were many at court who believed Barbara's first child, Anne, bore a strong resemblance to Chesterfield. His first wife was Lady Anne Percy, daughter of Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland; however, she had died on 29 November 1654 without having produced surviving children.

Together Elizabeth and Chesterfield had one daughter, Lady Elizabeth Stanhope, later Countess of Strathmore, although the child's paternity was in doubt. According to Samuel Pepys, theirs was a marriage of convenience, but Chesterfield, despite his own past conduct with Barbara Villiers, became jealous when rumours spread that his wife was having affairs with both James Hamilton and James, Duke of York, with whom she is said to have been caught in flagrante. On the other hand, he describes Elizabeth as "a virtuous lady".

The Chevalier de Grammont, in his memoirs, says of Elizabeth that, "she had a most exquisite shape, though she was not very tall: her complexion was extremely fair, with all the expressive charms of a brunette: she had large blue eyes, very tempting and alluring: her manners were engaging: her wit lively and amusing; but her heart, ever open to tender sentiments, was neither scrupulous in point of constancy, nor nice in point of sincerity."

In May 1663, the couple went to live at Bretby in Derbyshire. It was around this time that their daughter, Elizabeth was born.

The Countess died in July 1665 shortly after her 25th birthday and was buried on 18 July 1665 at Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. It was rumoured that she had been poisoned by her jealous husband.

Her daughter, Lady Elizabeth (May 1663- 24 April 1723), who was a child of two years at the time of Elizabeth's death, later married, in 1691, John Lyon, 4th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, by whom she had 10 children. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Queen consort of George VI, was one of her many descendants.

SIR PETER LELY (1618 - 1680) was the most important portraitist in the reign of Charles ll, although he had painted portraits throughout the Commonwealth. Principal Painter to the King, he painted everyone of importance, maintaining a busy and active Studio to help with the huge demand for his portraits. Members of his Circle, many of them talented artists in their own right, emulated his style to supply this constant market.

SIZE: 18 x 15 inches canvas
23 x 20.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Cheshire Private Collection
Ref: 8573
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of Lancelot Andrewes c. 1750; English School.
Oil on canvas in a 19th c. gilt frame.

A good quality portrait of a gentleman of the George III period; he looks intently and seriously past the viewer.

The portrait is of Lancelot Andrewes, a prosperous draper from Cheapside whose daughter Mary married in 1753 Edmund Keene.
It has passed by descent through the Ruck-Keene family.
The Rucks are descended from a family of German bankers who moved to England in the 1500s and settled in Suffolk.

SIZE: 27 x 22.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: by descent.
Ref: 8630
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Boy and his Dog c.1720; attributed to Joseph Highmore
Oil on canvas in fine quality period carved and giltwood frame.

This attractive portrait of a boy and his dog has the quality and style one expects from Highmore's work.
The dog, although probably the boy's pet also symbolises fidelity, trust and loyalty.

JOSEPH HIGHMORE (1692 - 1780) was born in London, on June 13th 1692. He was the third son of Edward and Mary (Tull) Highmore. His father was a coal merchant in Thames Street. He was articled as clerk to an attorney in 1707, but his ambition was always to paint, and he studied for two years at the academy founded by Sir Godfrey Kneller in Great Queen Street.

Beginning as a professional portrait painter in 1715, he gained clients from the City merchants who approved of what they perceived to be his ability to convey likeness and character without ostentation. He married in 1716, and a move in 1723 to a house in Lincoln's Inn Field marked his growing business and prosperity.

Highmore's contribution to a folio of engravings relating to the Order of the Bath and its ceremonies obtained him a number of commissions from the Knights of the Order.
His series of paintings in illustration of Samuel Richardson's novel "Pamela" and small, full-length, single and group portraits of the same period and style, were his principal achievement of the 1740s. As a result of the paintings, Highmore became a close friend of Richardson, and not only painted illustrations for Richardson's other novels, but also portrayed the novelist himself.

Highmore retired as a painter in 1761 and left London to live with his family at Canterbury in 1762. He died at Canterbury, on March 3rd, 1780.

SIZE: 36.25 x 31 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: English Private Collection
Ref: NP104
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Boy c.1730; attrib. to Dirk Heins
Oil on canvas in a very rare, finely carved Sutherland giltwood frame dating from the mid 17th century.

This is a superb quality painting of great elegance and style.

JOHN THEODORE HEINS (1697-1756), also known as Dietrich or Dirk, was born in Germany. He 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 and was accepted into their social circle. Whilst his paintings of aduts are extremely competent, his portraits of children are more engaging.
Many of his finer works were commissioned by the Astley family of Melton Constable.
His work is in Norwich Castle Museum, Felbrigg Hall (National Trust), the National Portrait Gallery, Cambridge University and others.
Ref: heins
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Boy of the Douglas Family,c.1725; Scottish School.
Oil on canvas in period painted and part gilt frame.

An early 18th century charming naive portrait of one of the sons of Sir William Douglas of Kelhead and his wife Helen Erskine.
The exact identity of the sitter has been lost but the boy is one of six Douglas brothers, not Charles as his portrait is elsewhere on this website. Three of the brothers succeeded, in turn, to the baronetcy and one became a lieutenant-general.
The baronetcy is now merged with the Marquessate of Queensbury.

The boys' father, Sir William, was the 2nd Baronet and married Helen, daughter of Colonel John Erskine, Deputy Governor of Stirling Castle, on 8th September 1705.
The union produced nine children, seven boys and two girls.

This portrait descended through the family to Elizabeth Gwendolen Teresa Johnstone-Douglas of Peelings Manor, Pevensey, Sussex who married William, 6th Earl of Craven.

SIZE: 32.75 x 26.75 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE:Lady Craven, formerly of Peelings Manor. (The 5th image is of Peelings Manor).
Note: the portrait and frame are in "country house condition"; there are damages to the frame.
Ref: NP100
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a French infantry officer 1792; French School
Oil on canvas in giltwood frame.

Painted just three years after the storming of the Bastille and the overthrow of the French monarchy this is a pleasingly frank portrait of a French officer of the Republican Infantry of the Line; he looks determined but of a good nature.
The unknown artist has used his considerable skill not just to accurately depict the sitter, but also to give the viewer a strong sense of the officer's personality.

Inscribed lower left 'Tanisch a Gle de France en 1792'.
1792 was the year in which the first French Republic was proclaimed and was marked by great military success, expanding the French borders across Europe.

SIZE: 27.75 x 23 inches inc. frame

PROVENANCE: Nottinghamshire Private Collection.
Private Collection of a Fellow of Cambridge University.
Ref: 8413
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Gentleman c.1650; Circle of Cornelius Johnson
Oil in canvas in good 17th c. style Dutch ripple-edged frame.
Centre right the later applied signature and date 'C.J. 1653'

An excellent portrait typical of Johnson and his Circle; expensively dressed but without pretension, the sitter looks not at us, but to one side as if lost in thought.
He is depicted within the feigned oval often used by Johnson and his admirers.
Hir silk clothing and fine lace are indications of his wealth and status and are carefully depicted.
In a period when black clothing was the fashion artists strove to depict the different nuances and textures of the fabrics as convincingly as possible.
They found that black is an ideal background with which to contrast the crisp white linen and rich lace and this dramatically accentuates the face and hand gestures. This extreme opposition between black and white is both austere and exciting, and is a characteristic feature of portraiture of this period.

CORNELIUS JOHNSON (Jonson, Jansen, Van Ceulen) 1593-1661 was born in London, the son of Flemish emigres.
Although Waterhouse thought he was trained in Holland it seems more likely (as Collins Baker has it) that Marcus Gheeraerts was his master in London.
Johnson is the most satisfying and 'English' of the portraitists working in England in the 1620s and 30s. He has a fine technique with a restrained and introspective style, with careful attention to the costume details.
His accurate portraits are never flattering but a sober and objective portrayal of his usual sitters: the gentry and lesser nobility. His style, and that of his Circle of course, is easily identified by its coolness and restraint.

In 1632 he was made Painter to the King, but his wife's fears of the approaching Civil War caused him to retire to Holland in 1643. He continued to paint for the rest of his life, but was reportedly ruined by the extravagance of his second wife and died a poor man in Utrecht in 1661.

SIZE: 28 x 21 75 inches canvas size
36 x 29.5 inches inc. frame

PROVENANCE: English Private Collection

Ref: 8465
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Gentleman c.1665; Attributed to Pieter Borssaelaer
Oil on canvas laid on board, unframed.

A good quality painting typical of Borsselaer's work, his portraits always show a seriousness and concern for individual character.

Here the sitter has been depicted with a thoughtful and melancholy expression intended to convey the idea that this man is sensitive and serious...a man who perhaps wrote poetry in his leisure hours (as many gentlemen did). This was a desirable and fashionable image at the period.
To be thought of by one's peers as shallow..a mere fop.. was social death.

He is expensively dressed 'a la mode' and his large costly wig also shows his status.
All together, this is a portrait which tells a great deal about the social mores of the time, and in particular of the way this man liked to be perceived.

PIETER BORSSELAER (active 1644-1687).
A Dutch Roman Catholic, a portrait and history painter. He married at Goes in 1644 and was in England 1664-1679 before returning to Holland where he worked at The Hague and Middelburg.
An example of his work is the Tate Gallery, London.

SIZE: 36 x 28 inches

PROVENANCE: a Somerset Private Collection for many years.
Ref: 8407
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 a Gentleman c.1685; attributed to John Closterman
Oil on canvas in fine 17th c. carved and giltwood frame (almost certainly the original).

An insightful portrait of a man of mature years, his eyes and features lively with intelligent good humour; a painting of great quality and charm.

JOHN CLOSTERMAN (1660-1711) was born in Osnabruck, the son of an artist. His early training was from his father, but in 1679 he moved to Paris where for two years he studied under the portraitist Francois de Troy.
In 1681 Closterman came to England and entered into partnership with the established portrait painter John Riley.

By 1683 he had developed an independent practice; he was adept at baroque poses still with a slightly French influence, with rather flashily painted drapery - the floral velvet robe seen in this painting occurs in at least two other portraits painted at this time.

His clients were mainly from the intellectual and professional middle classes, and included some of the leading writers, artists, musicians and physicians of the day.
In the 1690's, as his reputation grew, he painted for more exalted and aristocratic patrons, like the Dukes of Somerset and Marlborough.

He lived in great splendour in his house in Covent Garden with his wife Hannah.
In 1699, after a visit to Rome, he fell under the spell of the Antique and painted his famous full length portraits of the Earl of Shaftesbury in Classical pose.
Closterman's last documented portrait is 1704, and he devoted his last years to dealing in Old Master paintings.

An exhibition of his work was held by the National Portrait Gallery in 1981 under the title of 'Master of the Baroque Portrait'.

SIZE: 32.25 x 28.5 inches inc frame.

PROVENANCE: with a Surrey family for many years.
Ref: 8400
This item has been sold

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