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SOLD....Portrait of a Lady c.1750, by James Cranke.
Oil on canvas in a good 18th century carved and giltwood frame.

A fine portrait typical of its period and the artist's style painted with a great sensitivity to the character of the sitter.

JAMES CRANKE (1707 – 1780) was born at Little Urswick, near Barrow, and lived there for most of his life. He started as a plasterer and trained himself as an artist to a very high level.
He attended St. Martin's Lane Academy and in 1744 he married a well-known heiress and opened his own studio in Bloomsbury Square.
Vertue, in 1746, said he had seen a portrait of Cranke's "painted strongly...and at least as well as anyone living", by then Cranke was charging ten guineas for half lengths. His work was very similar to that of the noted artist Thomas Hudson and "quite as good as Hudson". (Dictionary of 18th c Painters by Ellis Waterhouse).
Cranke's style, especially in pose and palette, is also very reminiscent of Allan Ramsay.
In 1755 he and his family moved to Urswick where he built a large new house and established a very successful portrait practice painting local landowners and their families.

Cranke taught the famous artist George Romney (1734–1802) how to paint when he was a small boy. Romney was born at Beckside, Dalton-in-Furness, which was close to the home of the Cranke family. James Cranke taught one of his sons, James Cranke Jr (1746–1826), to follow him as a portrait painter.

The success of Cranke and his son as portrait painters helped their family to become important local landowners.
James Cranke is also notable as the father of the mathematician John Cranke.

SIZE: 37 x 32 inches inc. frame.
Collection of Professor Alastair Smart and then by descent.

(Peter Alastair Marshall Smart, art historian, born 30 April 1922, Head of Fine Art Department Nottingham University 1956-82, Professor of Fine Art 1963-82 (Emeritus 1982-92), married Marita Lawlor-Johnson (one son, one daughter), died Edinburgh 21 December 1992.
The central feature of Alastair Smart's career and work as an art historian was his involvement with the art of the great 18th-century Scottish portrait painter Allan Ramsay and who wrote the definitive works on Ramsay; one can speculate that he bought this portrait because of its similarity to a Ramsay of that period.)
Ref: 8766
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Lady c.1775; French School
Oil on canvas in giltwood frame.

A charming portrait of an attractive, aristocratic young French lady dressed in the elaborate style so soon to be swept away by the French Revolution.

The sitter's identity is lost, so whether she survived the Terror or perished on the scaffold will never be known; perhaps she fled to England as did many at that time
. The artist was clearly influenced by Francois-Hubert Drouais (1727-1775) who trained under Boucher and was strongly influenced by his style, his portraits have a gracious and slightly artificial charm redolent of the French Court.

SIZE: 28 x 22.5 inches inc. frame.
CONDITION: Old relining; stretcher marks to the edges; mild craquelure; old retouching visible in the background, particularly above her right shoulder. Frame damaged.
PROVENANCE: From a Private Collection in an Oxfordshire country house.
Ref: 8504
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Lady c.1816, by George Henry Harlow
Oil on canvas in giltwood frame.

The attractive young lady, dressed in the height of fashion of the Regency period, looks out at the viewer with great poise and composure.
She proudly displays the rings on her left hand, leading one to believe this is almost certainly a portrait painted to commemorate the sitter's wedding or engagement.
This high quality portrait is executed with all the grace and sensitivity for which Harlow's paintings of women are renowned.

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: 39 x 34 inches inc. frame
PROVENANCE: Sussex private collection.
Ref: 8497
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Lady c.1830; English School
Oil on canvas in distressed giltwood frame.

The sitter, looking out with a quiet smile, is dressed in the height of fashion of the period with vast 'mutton chop' sleeves and a tiny waist, her hair tightly curled.
Her left hand and the wedding ring are prominently displayed, so this is almost certainly a marriage portrait. Her clothing is costly, the dress is silk and she rests her arm on an ermine robe - traditionally worn only by royalty and the nobility. Whether this signifies her own aristocratic status or the fact that she is marrying a nobleman is not known.
Painted just at the end of George IV's reign and the beginning of Wiiliam IV's, some seven years before Victoria came to the throne, this is a charming portrait thoroughly evocative of its period.

SIZE: 33 x 29 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Hampshire private collection.
Ref: 8582
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Lady in a Black Hat c.1630; Studio of Cornelius Johnson
Oil on canvas in a very fine carved and giltwood 18th c. frame (damages).
Despite the damage, the frame is a work of art in its own right; a fine example of the wood-carver's skill.

A sensitive portrait probably by one of Johnson's studio pupils (John Evans and Theodore Russel) painted under his supervision.
He found it necessary to have assistants in order to keep pace with the demand for his work.
Certainly this painting is, as Waterhouse wrote, 'very sensitive to character and beautifully drawn and meticulously painted'.
Johnson's portraits are often within a feigned oval, as is this one.

The lady wears the wide brimmed hat fashionable with both sexes at that time and especially favoured by the rich merchant class; her silk gown and fine lace are indications of her wealth 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.
The sitter has a pensive appearance..looking at the artist, but her thoughts seem far away.

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 studio 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: 34 x 32 inc. frame.

PROVENANCE: a Somerset Private collection for the last 60/70 years.
Ref: 8399
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Lady in Blue 1745, by Charles Sommers
Oil on canvas in reproduction gilt frame.
Signed and dated lower left 'C. Sommers Pinxt 1745'.
This pleasing portrait is absolutely typical of its period. The artist clearly influenced by Thomas Hudson who was the fashionable portrait painter of the time.

CHARLES SOMMERS (fl. 1739-1753) worked in London and is known as a painter of small-scale full lengths often in the manner of Arthur Devis. This Hudsonesque portrait is not characteristic of Sommers; perhaps it was a special commission or an image of a member of his family?
He was successful enough to take on Richard Linnell as his apprentice in August 1752. His large group portrait of 'Sir William More-Molyneaux and Family'of 1739 is at Losely.

SIZE: 38 x 32.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Wiltshire private collection

Ref: 8505
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a lady in Blue c.1710; Circle of Kneller.
Oil on canvas in fine quality carved and giltwood 18th century frame.

This fine portrait is typical of its time; fashionably clad in her 'undress' the lady sits in an Arcadian landscape or parkland, her hands in the elegant positions considered to be a sign of good breeding, whilst she looks confidently out at the viewer
The gilded wooden frame is a work of art in its own right...exquisitely carved by a master craftsman, it encases the portrait with a sense of cost and luxury.
At night, by candlelight, with shadows flickering over the carving, this frame would have gleamed richly.

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: 57 x 47.75 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, New York, U.S.A.
Ref: 8676
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Lady in Blue c.1720; Circle of Kneller
Oil on canvas in fine period carved and giltwood frame.

A good early Georgian portrait utterly redolent of its period; the lady's hair is in the latest mode and her clothing the daring 'undress' favoured for portraiture at this period.

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 33inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: English Private Collection.
Ref: 8605
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Lady in Blue c.1855; attributed to Charles Baxter RBA
Oil on canvas in original gilt frame.

Standing on a terrace the sitter looks out beguilingly, a fashionable Kashmir shawl over her arm.This charming portrait of a pretty young lady is a fine example of Baxter's work.
His female heads are especially characterised by refinement of expression and purity of colour, shown here to perfection.

CHARLES BAXTER RBA (March 1809 - 10 January 1879) was an English portrait and subject painter, known especially for his portraits of pretty young women.
Baxter was born in Little Britain, London in 1809, the son of a book clasp maker, and started his career apprenticed to a bookbinder. However, he gave up this business to commence life as a professional painter, chiefly of miniatures and portraits. In 1834 he made the acquaintance of George Clint, from whom he received some valuable instruction, and in the same year exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy.

In 1839 he joined the Clipstone Street Society, and studied there along with Paul Falconer Poole, William Müller, Edward Duncan (1804–1882), Joseph John Jenkins (1811–1885), Francis William Topham (1808–18), and others, who afterwards became distinguished in the profession. He became a member of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1842, and contributed many paintings to its exhibitions.

SIZE: 33.5 x 29 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Sussex private collection.
Ref: 8663
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of a Lady in Grey c.1720; Attributed to Enoch Seeman
A fine quality portrait of an attractive young lady sitting in an Arcadian landscape.

The mythical land of Arcady or Arcadia was a domain where love and happiness reigned and was a fashionable setting for portraiture and literature.

The sitter has flowers in her lap which had a strong symbolic meaning at the time. Fertility and future child bearing are signified, the flowers also are a reminder that youth, and indeed life, are fleeting things. However, the large rose dominating the flowers is a symbol of love and its power. This may well have been a portrait to commemorate an engagement to marriage.
The young lady conveys a sense of calm and serenity as she looks confidently at the viewer.

On the reverse of the painting is an old label mistakenly identifying the sitter as Maria Gunning, Countess of Coventry (1733-1760).

ENOCH SEEMAN (c.1694-1744) Enoch Seeman the Younger was born in Danzig, now Gdansk, Poland.. His father, also Enoch was born around 1661, and the Seeman family were painters. Having been brought to London from his home in Flanders by his father in 1704, the younger Seeman's painting career began with a group portrait of the Bisset family in the style of the portraitist Godfrey Kneller, now held at Castle Forbes in Grampian, Scotland, and dated by an inscription 1708.
As a painter to the British royal court he completed portraits of George I in 1730, in the robes of his coronation and of George II some years later. The first of these pictures is held at the Middle Temple in London, England, and the second is at Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England, part of the Royal Collection. The Yale University Art Gallery owns a portrait of Elihu Yale in 1717 by Seeman and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, USA owns his rendering of Sir James Dashwood, described by the Grove Dictionary of Art as 'Exceptionally lively'.
Seeman's work is represented in the National Portrait Gallery in London. The National Trust owns three examples of his work - at Dunham Massey, Oxburgh Hall and Belton House.

SIZE: 53 x 43.25 inches inc. frame.

PROVENANCE: A private Surrey collection for many years. Verso: an old label for 'The Farnham Depository' and a handwritten inscription 'Maria Gunning, afterwards Countess of Coventry. On my decease this picture to be delivered to Nicholas Tyrell-Evans Esq; K.S. Wasey'.
Ref: 8526
This item has been sold

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