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Our website was last updated on: 22 January 2017
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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

SOLD....Portrait of a Gentleman c.1715; Follower of Kneller
Oil in canvas in distressed 19th c.gilt frame.

A pleasing early 18th century portrait of a good-looking young man painted by an unknown artist; one of the many provincial portraitists who painted the lesser gentry and prosperous mercantile classes.
The portrait itself is a good, honest, no-nonsense image of the sitter...he looks directly and frankly at the viewer.
The unknown artist was clearly influenced by the work of Sir Godfrey Kneller, an artist very fashionable at this time.

SIR GODFREY KNELLER (1646-1723) was the most distinguished painter of baroque portraits in England.
Born in Lubeck, he trained with Bol and Rembrandt, coming to London in 1676.
By 1679 he had painted the King and remained the most famous and successful portrait painter in England until his death.
In 1688 he was made Principal Painter to the King and was knighted in 1692 and a made a baronet in 1715.
His style had a profound influence on British portraiture and a large number of artists, many very talented in their own right, emulated his fashionable style.

SIZE: 38 x 32.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Sussex Private Collection.

Ref: 8662
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Gentleman c.1720: Circle of Hans Hysing.
Oil on canvas in reproduction giltwood frame of correct type.

This is the age of the 'Augustan' portrait (1690-1744) when the sitter expected to be 'elevated'...an expression of gravitas behind which was culture and intelligence. This was the English way...not for them the smiling, sometimes simpering, expressions painted by the French.

Joseph Addison, famous essayist, poet, playwright and politician and a man of letters, sneeringly described French portraits as "very remarkable for their smiles and a certain smirking Air...bestowed indifferently on every Age and Degree of either sex. The Toujours Gai appeared even in Judges, Bishops and Privy Counsellors.."

This a good example of the dignified English portrait of the period.

Hysing was born in Stockholm and was first apprenticed to a goldsmith from 1691-4, and then under David Krafft, Court Painter to King Charles of Sweden.
He settled in London in 1700, where he studied under Michael Dahl, also Swedish, for many years. He was on his own by at least 1715.
Hysing painted the the Queen, the royal princesses, George III as a boy, Sir Robert Walpole and other notables.
Alan Ramsay worked briefly in his studio in 1734.

SIZE: 40.5 x 30.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Yorkshire Private Collection.
Ref: 8700
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Gentleman c.1735; Attributed to Jonathan Richardson
A good quality early Georgian oil on canvas in a fine carved and giltwood period frame.

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, but when he was about seven his father died and his mother married again. Richardson became a scrivener's apprentice, but he was released early when his master retired. Richardson was lucky enough to be taken on as a painting apprentice by John Riley. 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. His strength was in portraits of men which were sound, solid, good likenesses, and unpretentious.

SIZE: 36.75 x 32 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: English Collection
Label verso: 'Bartholomew Wilkins and Partners, 1 Barrett Street, London'.

Ref: 8581
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Gentleman c.1770; Circle of Joseph Wright of Derby.
Oil on canvas in a late 18th century giltwood frame.

The handsome young man sits pensive, his thoughts far away, probably concerning the letter he holds in his right hand...a letter from his beloved?
The portrait is painted with great sensitivity and demonstrates the chiaroscuro that was a characteristic of Wright.
The typical traits of Wright’s portraiture are apparent – an easy handling of the fall of light that diffuses over the sitter’s face, and along the shoulders of his coat to give the soft appearance almost of pastel – a reminder that Wright was also an accomplished painter in chalks and pastels.

JOSEPH WRIGHT (1734 – 1797), styled Wright of Derby, was an English landscape and portrait painter.
Wright is notable for his use of Chiaroscuro effect, which emphasises the contrast of light and dark, and for his paintings of candle-lit subjects. His paintings of the birth of science out of alchemy, often based on the meetings of the Lunar Society, a group of very influential scientists and industrialists living in the English Midlands, are a significant record of the struggle of science against religious values in the period known as the Age of Enlightenment.
Joseph Wright was born in Irongate, Derby. Deciding to become a painter, he went to London in 1751 and for two years studied under Thomas Hudson, the master of Joshua Reynolds. After painting portraits for a while at Derby, Wright again worked as an assistant to Hudson for fifteen months.
In 1753 he returned to and settled in Derby; he also spent a productive period in Liverpool, from 1768 to 1771, painting portraits. These included pictures of a number of prominent citizens and their families.
Wright married Ann (also known as Hannah) Swift on 28 July 1773.
Wright and his wife had six children, three of whom died in infancy. He established himself at Bath as a portrait-painter, but meeting with little encouragement he returned to Derby in 1777, where he spent the rest of his life. Ann Wright died on 17 August 1790. On 29 August 1797 Wright died at his new home at No. 28 Queen Street, Derby, where he had spent his final months with his two daughters.[
Wright was a frequent contributor to the exhibitions of the Society of Artists, and to those of the Royal Academy, of which he was elected an associate in 1781 and a full member in 1784. He, however, declined the latter honour on account of a slight which he believed that he had received, and severed his official connection with the Academy, though he continued to contribute to the exhibitions from 1783 until 1794.

SIZE:37.25 x 32.25 inches inc. frame.
European Private Collection.
Private Collection, London.
Ref: 8771
This item has been sold

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