HELLO, HANDSOME – COURTESY OF SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE

by Kristine Hughes Patrone

Recently, I was Googling portraits of the Duke of Wellington by Sir Thomas Lawrence (as one does) and the search returned images that were decidedly not Wellington. And I must say, some of the sitters were exceedingly handsome, and some of them were portraits I hadn’t seen before. So I Googled some more and you’ll find the results of my search below. Enjoy!

Portrait of Frederic Lock of Norbury Park, Surrey. Youngest child of William Lock, a London art critic. 




William Lock the Younger, elder brother to Frederic, above. 

From Yale Center for British ArtIt has been suggested that Lawrence’s sensitive portrait of the younger William Lock may be a study for an untraced portrait of the sitter exhibited as the royal Academy in 1791. Lock’s attire and hairstyle indicate a later dating however, and Lawrence did not usually make preliminary drawings for his paintings, preferring to prepare them by drawing directly on the canvas with chalk. . . . The sitter was the son of the connoisseur William Lock (1732-1810), was one of Lawrence’s first sitter and a close friend of the artist. The younger Lock (1767-1847) was a keen patron of the arts and an aspiring artist, but after viewing Rome he lost faith in his talent and gave up painting, though he continued to draw. 




Arthur Atherley MP 1772 – 1844

This portrait was painted by Lawrence when Atherley was an Eatonian. Afterwards, he went to Trinity College and went on to stand as MP for Southampton for four terms. He was a founding member of the Fox Club. He also served as a justice of the peace in Sussex and died at Tower House, Brighton. 



The finished portrait now hangs in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, but an unfinished sketch of the same subject, above, was recently purchased from a private owner by the Holburne Museum, Bath. You can read more about that here




John Arthur Douglas Bloomfield, 2nd Baron Bloomfield 1802 – 1879

Astonishingly, Wikipedia tells me that Bloomfield was privately educated and became an attache to Vienna at the age of sixteen. This may have been due, at least in part, to the position of his father, the 1st Baron Bloomfield, about whom Wikipedia says: “He was an Aide-de-Camp, then Chief Equerry and Clerk Marshal to the Prince of Wales and finally was Private Secretary to the King, Keeper of the Privy Purse, and Receiver of the Duchy of Cornwall from 1817 to 1822. One of issues that Bloomfield had to contend with a Private Secretary was King’s extravagant spending.” However, things did not end well for the elder Baron Bloomfield. You’ll find the story here.  




Richard Hart Davis Jr. 1791 – 1854



Charles William Bell

French video on Lawrence’s painting technique




Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux 1778 – 1868

Anti-slavery campaigner, attorney to Queen Caroline and one of the first Englishmen to fall in love with Cannes and make it into a popular resort. Like Wellington, Brougham was named by Harriet Wilson in her Memoirs. Unlike Wellington, he caved and paid the hush money her publisher demanded to keep his name out of the book. Brougham’s name is still familiar to us, as a style of coach was named for a vehicle he designed, which was carried on until recent memory as a style of automobile. Find his full biographical story here.

And finally . . . . .




Sir Thomas Lawrence, unfinished self portrait, circa 1825

ONCE AGAIN WEDNESDAY: Who Wants to be (or look at) a Horse's Behind?

by Victoria Hinshaw

On our post-Wellington tour jaunt around London, Kristine and I found another copy of the painting discussed below as appearing in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice film as it hangs in Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, depicting George, the Prince of Wales, and his horse’s behind.  It hangs in the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.


An engraving of the painting also appears in “What Jane Saw,”  a digital recreation of an exhibition at he British Institution in Pall all in 1813.  Click here to see the website and click again on the picture itself to read the description.

Originally published April 2010

In May of 2009, my husband and I visited Brocket Hall, formerly the home of Lord Melbourne, now part of a golf complex. The house, in excellent condition, serves as a venue for corporate events and weddings. Brocket is located near Hertford and Hatfield just north of London. Part of the original land of the adjacent country homes of the London wealthy has been developed into Welwyn Garden City.

The ballroom in Brocket was used for the interiors of Netherfield, the home rented by Mr. Bingley, in the 1995 BBC version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In the picture above, you see Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth leading the country dance. In the far background, you can barely make out a portrait of George, Prince of Wales, standing beside the rump of his horse. The painting, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, was presented to Elizabeth, Lady Melbourne (mother of the Prime Minister), who reputedly was the mistress of the Prince for a time.

Here is another view of the painting behind Mr. Darcy.

I laughed when I saw this painting, a copy of which I have been unable to locate on any website pertaining either to the Prince of Wales (later George IV) or Sir Joshua Reynolds.

The pose reminded me of a famous view of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart. A version of this painting hung in the Elgin Academy Art Gallery where I played at my piano teacher’s annual recital for her students and their parents. There are other versions of the Stuart portrait, chiefly belonging to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  I have always wondered how many of my fellow performers looked up in the middle of their playing to be faced with that horse’s . . . ah . . .tail.

George Washington by Gilbert Stuart
Since those youthful days, the question has arisen in my mind — why paint the rear end of the horse so prominently? In my search of the web for a copy of the Reynolds portrait above, I found some discussions of this exact point. But no one had a definitive answer. Someone suggested that the rear of the horse was a comment by the artist on the character of the subject. One writer said Stuart was not good at painting horses. Another said that men were so portrayed because they were prepared to jump on the horse and take off — being in a position on the horse’s left easily to reach the stirrup. Anyone have any views on this world-shattering question?
The Marquis of Granby, by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Above is another example. This is General John Manners, Marquis of Granby, who was painted by Reynolds in about 1765. He died before he succeeded to the title of Duke of Rutland. This painting hangs in the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida. The General was a popular figure, hence many pubs in England named The Marquis of Granby.

Above, another painting by Gilbert Stuart. The subject is Louis-Marie, the vicomte de Noailles (1756-1804), who fought with the Americans during the Revolution. He returned to France but was driven out after their revolution and moved to Philadelphia in 1793. He was a banker and a friend of Washington, neither of which explains why he is standing next to his horse’s rump.

Here is my final example, a portrait of Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington. It hangs at the country home of the Duke, Stratfield Saye.

I welcome any comments, clues, or links to additional poses of generals (or anyone) with their horses’ rumps.

GEORGIAN ART FROM THE NEW MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM

SOME GEORGIAN ART FROM

THE NEW MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM

Following a major renovation and rehanging of the entire collections, it was time to celebrate…at one of several Opening Parties, we met for cocktails and canapes in the Calatrava addition (completed 2001). After the  official ribbon-cutting, we proceeded into the Older but newly renovated sections to view the entire collection in a new format.

MAM notice!
The Milwaukee Art Museum website is here.
Victoria here. As a long-time member, docent, volunteer, and staffer at the MAM, I was eager to see old friends in a new setting…and to enjoy the refreshed facilities, from the building itself, the HVAC system, lighting, and re-organisation of the collection. 
European Galleries

One (or three?) of those old friends: 
Triple Profile Portrait, C. 1560-80
French, School of Fontainebleau
Most of the galleries were closed for several years to complete the 6-year, $34 million for the renovation and expansion.  Special exhibitions went on in the Calatrava Wing, but we were very happy to see some of our favorites on display again.

The Age of Enlightenment–Immanuel Kant, 2008
by Yinka Shonibare, English, b. 1962
mixed media, purchase by the Contemporary Art Society

The MAM has a particularly fine presentation of American furniture, much from the Chipstone Foundation, as well as the Layton Art Collection. Read about the Chipstone Foundation here

Another of my personal favorites: London Visitors, 1874, by  James Tissot
French (1836-1902) A view on the steps of the National Gallery with the the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in the background.

And now to some promised Art from the Georgian Period, in both Britain and the U.S., her  colonies during much of the period 1714-1837

Miss Frances Lee, 1769
Francis Cotes (English, 1726–1770)
Portrait of Jane Emma Orde, ca. 1806
John Hoppner (English, 1758–1810)
    Puzzle Jug, ca. 1820
    Sunderland or New Castle, England
    Attributed to John Barry (British, active 1784–1827)
    Landscape, n.d.
    John Constable (English, 1776–1837)
    Thomas Lawrence (English, 1769–1830)
    Frederick, Duke of York, n.d.
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)
    Portrait of a Terrier, The Property of Owen Williams, ESQ., M.P. (Jocko with a Hedgehog), 1828  Edwin Landseer    (English, 1802–1873)
    Charles Willson Peale (American, 1741–1827)
    Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755–1828)
    Philadelphia, High Chest of Drawers, 1760-75
    John James Audubon (American, b. Santo Domingo [now Haiti], 1785–1851). Entrapped Otter (Canada Otter), ca. 1827–30. 
    John Singleton Copley (American, 1738–1815)
    Alice Hooper, ca. 1763

     Also on view until May 31, 2016 are two more portraits by Copley.  The MAM states, “For the inaugural exhibition in the Constance and Dudley Godfrey American Art Wing’s Focus Gallery, the Milwaukee Art Museum will show two rare paintings never before exhibited in the United States: a pair of pendant portraits of American colonists Anne and Duncan Stewart by the country’s first old master, John Singleton Copley. Painted by Copley in 1767, the portraits show the Scottish couple who were prominent in Boston and Connecticut politics until the American War of Independence, when t
    hey took the loyalist side. In honor of their support, the English king restored their estates confiscated during the Jacobite Uprising, and the couple returned to Scotland, taking the portraits with them. Now owned by Edinburgh’s Stewart society—descendents of the sitters—the works will be returning to the United States for the first time in almost 250 years.

    Duncan Stewart of Ardsheal, d. 1793
    by John S. Copley, 1767

    Anne Erving, Mrs. Duncan Stewart (1740-after 1802)
    by John S. Copley

    I hope I didn’t miss too much — I am delighted to say there will be many return visits to the newly re-hung galleries!

      For now, just a few pictures of the magnificent building in three parts:
    A view of the first War Memorial Center from the south) by Eero Saarinen, opened in 1957, which included the Milwaukee Art Center
    The recently expanded and renovated Kahler Wing (1975 and 2015)
    from the east
    Two views of the Calatrava Wing and the two other sections;
    looking north from Lake Michigan

      AN ARTIST OF WATERLOO

      Many great artists painted scenes of Waterloo, as based on visits to the battlefield in the wake of the conflict and/or imagined later.

      Victoria here, writing of one of my favorites, Robert Alexander Hillingford (1825-1904), born in London  He studied in Germany and worked in Italy for several years. After he returned to London in 1864, he began to do historical paintings and became a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy and other prominent galleries.

      His painting of the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball hangs at Goodwood House, the Richmond ducal seat in West Sussex.

      The Duchess  Richmond’s Ball by Robert A. Hillingford

       Details from the painting are featured on the cover of the Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: A Celebration of Waterloo.  This anthology brings you nine stories by nine best-selling and award-winning authors, including me (she whispered shamelessly).

      An exhibition, Dancing into Battle, on view at Goodwood House August 3 to October 22,  2015, is organized around the famous painting. For the website, click here.
      From the description of the display:
      “On 15th June 1815, the Duchess of Richmond hosted a ball at her home in Brussels. … Goodwood’s summer exhibition will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the ball…
      “Like many English aristocrats, the 4th Duke and Duchess of Richmond were living in Brussels owing to straightened financial circumstances. Their house became a hub of social activity filled with family and friends, including their own fourteen children. The Duchess invited the cream of Belgian and Dutch society, British civilians, diplomats and army officers to her ball. The Duke of Wellington, a great friend of the family, and the Prince of Orange were among the guests, all of whom appear in her guest list which is one of the treasures of the Goodwood collection – and which will also be on display during the summer exhibition.
      “… The message that was delivered to Wellington in the middle of the ball reported that Napoleon had crossed the border into Belgium. Examining a map with the Duke of Richmond, Wellington declared, ‘Napoleon has humbugged me, by God, he has gained twenty-four hours march on me’. When Richmond asked what he intended to do, he said that he had told the army to concentrate at Quatre-Bras, but that he would not stop Napoleon there, and pointing to the map placed his thumbnail on Waterloo declaring ‘I must fight him here’. 
      “That night many of the guests left straight for the holding battle of Quatre-Bas, followed two days later by the battle of Waterloo. Heart-wrenching scenes took place in the early hours of the morning as soldiers said goodbye to their loved ones, some never to see them again.” 
      Summoned to Waterloo by Robert A. Hillingford

      Hillingford’s painting, Summoned to Waterloo, depicts the courtyard of the house where the ball was held. At dawn on June 16th, the soldiers are leaving their sweethearts to head for combat.

      On the site of the Richmond Ball in Brussels an office building now stands;  there is no trace left of the dramatic scenes of June 15-16, 1815.

      The Turning Point by Robert A. Hillingford

      The Turning Point shows Napoleon and his Imperial Guard at the moment he realizes their attack on Wellington’s troops is failing.

      Lord Hill Inviting Surrender of the  Imperial Guard by Robert A. Hillingford

      Another Waterloo painting by Hillingford shows General Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill, commander of the British II Corps, inviting the French Imperial Guard to surrender at the end of the battle late in the day.

      Wellington At Waterloo by Robert A. Hillingford
      Most famous of all, perhaps, is Hillingford’s portrayal of the Duke of Wellington mounted on Copenhagen, summoning his troops to the final attack.  “Up Guards and at them again,”  he called, according to a Captain of the Foot Guards.

      Hillingford completed many detailed battle scenes, from several wars. Though completed long after the battles themselves, they convey both vivid action and spectacle.  

      English Civil War Scene (between 1642-1649)by Robert A Hillingford



      Marlborough Signing the Blenheim Dispatch in 1794  by Robert Alexander Hillingford.
      Saint Joan d’Arc by Robert A. Hillingford
      This portrait is much more intimate and conveys the spirit of Joan (c.1412-1431), if not her precise appearance. 
      Peasants of the Campagna by Robert A. Hilllingford
      He painted a wide variety of popular scenes, including some on which he drew from his experiences in Italy.
      And he did many scenes from the theatre, such as the one below.
      Much Ado About Nothing by Robert A. Hillingford

      Paul and Thomas Sandby, Painters of Britain

      Victoria here, sorting out bookshelves…yes, that’s sort of like cleaning, but not quite.  And I found a treasure.  Couldn’t remember when I bought it, but I found a copy of a wonderful book: Views of Windsor: Watercolours by Thomas and Paul Sandby.  Of course, I had to quit the sorting and sit down to enjoy it. 

      The mystery was solved when I checked the publication page and saw that it is a catalogue which accompanied the exhibition of the same name from 1995-1997, which was shown in Amsterdam; Portland, Oregon; Memphis; Dallas; and Manchester, UK.  I must have seen it in Dallas.  The paintings are from the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. To see more, click here.
      Paul Sandby, The Castle from the Long Walk, ca. 1765
      Watercolour with pen and ink over graphite within black line
      Zoom on Image here.
      This is the view of the castle before the Round Tower was “tarted up” as a Gothic Fantasy by George IV and his architect Jeffry Wyattville in the 1820’s. Below, the view since that time, a much taller and more elaborate building.
      Windsor Castle, Round Tower, 2010
      Thomas Sandby (1721-1798) was the elder of the two brothers, both born in Nottingham. Thomas was an architectural draughtsman, artist and teacher. He joined the staff  of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, for his campaigns in Flanders and Scotland (1743–1748). Later, he became Deputy Ranger of Windsor Great Park, and also spent part of the year in London where he engaged in numerous architectural and artistic projects. He and his brother were among the 28 persons who were chosen as founding members of  the Royal Academy; Thomas was the RA’s first Professor of Architecture.
      Thomas Sandby, RA, by Sir William Beechey, n.d., NPG, London

      Paul Sandby, View through the Norman Gateway, looking west towards the Winchester Tower,
       ca. 1770; Watercolour with pen and ink over graphite

      Paul Sandby (1731-1809) was chief draughtsman for the Board of Ordnance’s 1747 project of mapping the Scottish Highlands. In the 1750’s, Paul and Thomas Sandby created hundreds of views of Windsor, the castle, the royal grounds, the town and other scenes.  Their work was admired by artists such as Gainsborough, who appreciated the details they captured. More than 500 of their paintings and drawings are held in the Royal Collection.  Paul was chief drawing master to the Royal Military academy and published several volumes of his works over the years. At his death, he was called “the father of modern landscape painting.”

      Paul Sandby sketching, by Francis Coates, 1791
      Tate Britain
      Paul Sandby, The Henry VIII Gateway and the Salisbury Tower from within the Lower Ward, ca. 1770
      Watercolour with pen and ink over graphite within black ink line

      Though it may be difficult to see without enlarging these views (which can easily be done with the zoom feature of the Royal Collection), one of the major interests of the Sandbys’ work goes beyond the exactitude of the buildings in time.  The figures in the foreground, pedestrians, workers, riders…all provide a perfect picture of what people wore, what they did, even what they ate at the time.  They provide a rich source for those of us who obsess over minute details of the period.

      Paul Sandby, The north front of the Castle from Isherwood’s Brewery in Datchet Lane, c. 1765
      Watercolour and body colour with pen and ink
      Paul Sandby, The Norman Gateway from the gate to the North Terrace, ca. 1770
      Watercolour and bodycolour with pen and ink over graphite

      Paul Sandby, The Castle from Datchet Lane on a rejoicing night, 1768
      Watercolour and bodycolour including gold paint, within black line
      The subject matter of the rejoicing night is unknown; from the leaves on the trees, it cannot be Guy Fawkes Night (5 November), but the distant bonfire and/or fireworks suggests a celebration.
      Thomas and Paul Sandby The Walk and terrace at Cranbourne Lodge 1752
      Watercolour and bodycolour with Pen and ink over graphite
      This volume of wonderful views of Windsor is now in a more prominent position in my bookcases — and I am willing to report that I plan to share any more treasures I uncover.  I’ve already got one in mind, Royal London.  Coming one of these days….

      Kenwood House: Traveling Treasures

      Early Spring at Kenwood House

      Victoria here, recalling several visits to Kenwood House, a beautiful white mansion sitting atop Hampstead Heath just outside of central London.  Originally built in the early 17th century, it was remodeled by Robert Adam 1764-1779 in the neoclassic style with Adam’s distinctive and oft-copied interiors.

      1st Earl of Mansfield (1705-1793)

      At the time, it was owned by William Murray, who was named Baron Mansfield, later 1st Earl of Mansfield.  He was the Lord Chief Justice from 1756 to 1788 and is credited with  major contributions to the development of English law as well as measures to end slavery in the British Isles.

      Elevations of Kenwood House, 1764

      The famous Library

      In 1925, Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh (1847-1927) and heir to a brewery fortune, bought the house from the Mansfield heirs as the home for his magnificent collection of art. At Iveagh’s death in 1927, he left both the house and the art collection to the nation.  It is also known as the Iveagh Bequest.

      Now managed by English Heritage, Kenwood House is undergoing extensive renovations and improvements, returning many rooms to their appearance after Robert Adam decorated them, probably to match the library, which has been long admired by visitors.

      In 2012-13 an exhibition of works from the collection Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London   is touring museums in the United States while Kenwood House is closed. Many of the works have never before been outside Britain.  The treasured Rembrandt Self-Portrait was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art briefly in spring before the whole exhibition opened at the Fine Arts Museum of Houston, Texas, where it can been seen until September 3, 2012.

      Self Portrait, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1661

      I am particularly excited because the collection will next travel to the Milwaukee Art Museum (practically in my front yard) from October 12, 2012 through January 13, 2013.  After Milwaukee, the collection will be shown in Seattle and later yet at the Arkansas Art Center.

      The other artists celebrated in the title of this traveling exhibition include Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) who painted numerous portraits of English royalty and aristocrats.

      Princess Henrietta of Lorraine attended by a Page, 1634

      Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) is renowned for his exquisite portraits, and this one is among his best.

      Mary, Countess of Howe, c. 1764
      Many other masterworks are included in the nearly fifty paintings in the exhibition by artists such as Canaletto,  Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Thomas Lawrence,  Sir Edwin Landseer, and…

      Portrait of Pieter van der Broecke, by Frans Hals, 1633
      Joseph Mallord William Turner, A Coast Scene
       with Fisherman Hauling a Boat Ashore, c. 1803-04
      George Romney, Emma Hart as The Spinstress, c. 1783-84
      The exhibition Rembrandt, van Dyck and Gainsborough: Treasures from Kenwood House is organized by The American Federation of Art and English Heritage.

      The Sculptor Chantrey

      For those of us who love to poke around in British palaces, castles, stately homes, museums and all sorts of historical sites (that’s probably all of us), with a special interest in the Georgian and Victorian periods (most of us??), sooner or later we will begin to notice the recurring name of Francis Chantrey, a sculptor whose works are simply all over the place.

      Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey, by Thomas Phillips, 1818 (NPG)

      Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey (1781-1841) was not only a renowned and prolific artist, but also a philanthropist who left a bequest for the purchase of artwork for the nation.  The income from investing the £105,000 from his legacy has been used to purchase hundreds of artworks by British artists for the nation’s museums and continues to this day.

      Chantrey self portrait, 1810, Tate Britain

      The UK’s National Portrait Gallery has hundreds of works by Chantrey himself, from sketches executed as preparation for his sculptures, to marble busts of leading men of his generation.

      Drawings Chantrey made of Sir John Soane, preparatory work for the bust Chantrey sculpted which today can be seen in Sir John Soane’s Museum, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, below.

      Close-up of the bust of Sir John Soane
      Last year, at the Yale Center for British Art, Diane Gaston, a well-known Regency author, and Victoria posed with a Chantrey bust of George IV. 
      As so often in Georgian-era portraits, the subject is wearing a Roman-style toga.  And without being unrealistic, somehow the expression on the King’s face seems to me quite representative of his character.  Unlike the overly flattering pictures by others, particularly Sir Thomas Lawrence, this Chantrey bust gives us a hint of the dichotomy in George IV: one the one hand selfish, narcissistic and extravagant — but on the other hand, a great builder and  connoisseur of the arts.
      This Chantrey bust is one of several similar versions he and his studio produced, dated 1827.
      Chantrey’s equestrian statue of George IV
       
      George IV and the royal family were frequent patrons of Chantrey.  His bronze state of Geogbe IV on horseback can be found in Trafalgar Square, as above. Below is George IV in the center of the Grand Vestibule of Windsor Castle’s State Rooms, flanked by mounted knights.
      The magnificent statue of the mounted Duke of Wellington by Chantrey stands outside the Royal Exchange in the City of London.

      Below, a sketch of the pedestal made by Chantrey for the Wellington statue.

      Chantrey’s sketch of the Duke of Wellington for a bust.

      Born near Sheffield, Francis Chantrey was the son of a carpenter and became an apprentice to a woodcarver.  His skill and talentset him apart, and he was given lessons in painting.  He was a able to earn enough as a portrait painter to move to London, where by 1804, he was included in exhibitions at the Royal Academy
      Chantrey Self-Portrait, NPG
       In a few years, he devoted himself mainly to sculpture.  He married in 1807, and soon was doing commissions for naval officers and the Greenwich Hospital.  He visited Italy in 1819 and associated with the leading artists of his day.  He was knighted in 1835 by William IV.  When he died, he was buried in a tomb he had constructed for himself in St. James Church, near Sheffield.

      Above, the Marble Hall at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, the estate of the earls of Leicester.   On either side of the staircase (on the right behind the piano) are two busts by Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey.

      Reproduction of a marble bust of Coke of Norfolk (1754-1842), by Chantrey, from 1829, which can be purchased from the estate at their website: http://www.holkhamsculpturereproductions.co.uk/
      Coke of Norfolk, a great agricultural innovator, was the great nephew of Thomas Coke, and Coke of Norfolk was named 1st Earl of Leicester of the Seventh Creation in 1837.

      Below, the reproduction of Chantrey’s marble copy of a bust of Thomas Coke, first Earl of Leicester (1697-1759) of the Sixth Creation. created by Louis Francoise Roubilliac (1705-1762).  Both busts were sculpted to stand among the large collection of classical busts acquired by Thomas Coke and displayed at Holkham.

      Above, Sir Joseph Banks in the British Museum, Botanist, Trustee and Benefactor, by Sir Francis Chantey, dated 1826.

      Also displayed in the British Museum, Chantrey’s bust of his collaborator and mentor, the famous 18th c. sculptor Joseph Nollekens (1737-1823).

      Besides the dozens of busts Chantrey sculpted, which were highly prized and sought after, he did some touching works which displayed his skill in composition as well as compassion.

      The Sleeping Children, 1817, above, in the Litchfield Cathedral, was commissioned by the widowed mother of the two dead girls, Mrs. Ellen-Jane Woodhouse Robinson.  Most observers find it the finest of Chantrey’s works.

      The Royal Collection

      The lovely portrayal of Dorothea Jordan was commissioned  from Chantrey by King William IV and completed in 1834. It has been displayed in Buckingham Palace since 1980.  Mrs. Jordan, a leading actress of her day, was the long-time mistress of William IV when he was Duke of Clarence and bore him ten children, known by the surname FitzClarence.

      Bridgeman

      This drawing of the anteroom of Chantrey’s sculpture gallery (30 Belgrave Place) shows its design by Sir John Soane for his friend, the sculptor.

      Pen, Brush and Chisel: The Studio of Sir Francis Chantrey by artist Sir Edwin Landseer (1803-73), Royal Collection

      This charming portrait of Mustard, Chantrey’s terrier, and his sculpting tools was presented to Queen Victoria by Lady Chantrey in 1842. According to the description in the Royal Collection, “The painting was commissioned in April 1835 by Chantrey, who sent Landseer a humorous letter, supposedly from Mustard. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1836 when it was admired by Queen Victoria.”  After Chantrey’s death, his widow presented the painting to the Queen.

      Queen Victoria, marble, 1841, by Sir Francis Chantrey, Royal Collection
      Chantrey created portraits of four British sovereigns.  Above, his last work, a bust of Queen Victoria,  was Prince Albert’s  favorite portrayal of his wife

      Also in the Royal Collection is this watercolour on ivory by Andrew Robertson (1777-1845), dated 1800. Purchased  by Queen Victoria in 1880, it portrays Chantrey “Half-length, standing, facing slightly to the right, wearing a grey studio coat and dark blue waistcoat and holding a hammer, chisel and yellow dustcloth, beside his bust of George IV; grey-blue eyes, grey-brown hair; red curtains background.”

      The painting above is The Burial of Sir Frances Chantrey  by artist Henry Perlee Parker, 1841. It was  badly damaged in a flood in 2007 at the Weston Park Museum, Sheffield, and had to be dried for more than a year before it was conserved.  Chantrey is buried in St. James Church, Sheffield, near the village of his birth.

      You Animal, You!

      Charlotte Cory  – artist, playwright and Bronte afficianado – is the subject of You Animal, You!, an in-depth look at the world of Charlotte Cory’s art, featuring essays placing Cory’s art in context. Highly illustrated, great fun and at the same time oddly serious.

      Cory’s photographic collages skillfully rework Victorian photographic visiting cards and invite viewers to speculate on the events behind the picture. Cory combines these poignant cartes-de-visite  images with portraits taken of stuffed animals from museums and her own collection. By recycling these dispossessed images and long-dead creatures, she gives them all a new lease of life. Brighter, more colourful, more interesting and more disturbing than before.

      Cory’s images are accompanied by featured essays, including an introduction to the world of the Visitorians by distinguished author and historian AN Wilson. The curator of the Royal Photograph Collection, Sophie Gordon, discusses Cory’s reinterpretation of Victorian photographic ideas and innovations for our age. You Animal, You! is an in-depth look at the world of this unusual artist that will delight her fans and interest newcomers to her work in equal measure.

      Cory’s work can also currently be viewed at The Green Parrot Gallery, London SE10.

      Tom Sully, Artist Extraordinaire

      On March 11, 2012, Jo Manning wrote here of her experiences associated with the current exhibition The Look of Love at the Birmingham (AL) Museum of Art, for which she wrote selections in the catalogue.  She rhapsodized about the talent and charm of Tom Sully, a contemporary artist who has painted several types of miniatures: portraits, eyes, and pets, as well as accomplishments in many other formats.  We wanted to know more about him; what follows is our interview with artist Tom Sully.

      Tom Sully: Self Portrait, 2010, watercolor on ivory, 2 7/8 x 2 3/8 in.

      Number One London:  You have a very famous great-great-great-grandfather, renowned portraitist Thomas Alfred Sully (1783-1872), who painted Queen Victoria and Thomas Jefferson, among others. How did it affect you having the same name as your grandfather and being an artist as well?

      Thomas A. Sully (1783-1872), Lady with a Harp: Eliza Ridgely, 1818
      Tom Sully:  As a young man I found Victorian art cloying.  I decided to go to art school in California where few had ever heard of Thomas Sully.  When I arrived in New York afterwards, theories of deconstruction held sway in the art world.  While all my peers were making conceptual art, I turned to illustration for my living, since you still needed to know how to draw for that.  My first portrait commission was from The New Yorker, who hired me to paint a singer performing at The Rainbow Room.  It was then that I took Sully’s Hints To Young Painters down from the shelf and got to work.

      Tom Sully: Garland, 2012, oil on linen, 24 x 20





      NOL:  Have there been other people in the arts in your family?

      TS: Sully’s parents were actors and all his siblings were actors and musicians.  His children painted – the most promising, another Thomas, unfortunately died young.  I’m descended from Sully’s son Alfred, an army general who painted Native American scenes while serving in the Dakotas.  The most recent artist family member of note is Thomas O. Sully, a celebrated New Orleans architect who bridged the 19th and 20th centuries.  His grandfather, the portraitist’s brother, had moved to Louisiana in the early 1800s.  When he wasn’t designing Queen Anne-style Garden District mansions, the architect loved to hunt and fish in the Louisiana countryside. I feel a connection to him when I go into the bayous and swamps to find subjects for landscapes.

      Tom Sully:  After Henry Inman, 2011, oil on linen, 15 x 12 in.
      NOL: You have painted portraits, landscapes, and other relatively large-scale oil paintings for years. What inspired you to paint portrait miniatures?

      TS: In 2001 I saw an amazing traveling exhibition. Love and Loss, American Portrait and Mourning Miniatures, organized by Robin Jaffee Frank at Yale University Art Gallery.  What intrigued me was that these are intimate portraits, full of heartfelt, personal associations. These charged images sustained a current between people otherwise separated by the vagaries of life and geography, the daily routine, or even death. An image of a family member or loved one, small enough to be held in the hand and carried  on your person, can take on the properties of a talisman. When worn, they become a public emblem of affection. The
      y were and can still be used today as a catalyst in courtship.  To me, this is portraiture at its best and about as far away from the institutional boardroom portrait as you can get!  The show included a miniature Sully had painted to mourn the death of his mother. Of course, the technique and sheer artistry of these paintings is incredible.  It took me awhile to track down the materials and get up the nerve to work so small. 

      NOL:  Do you paint in the traditional technique with tiny stippled dots of watercolor on ivory?

      TS: Yes, I use a combination of stippling and hatching, applying small amounts of paint and waiting for each layer to dry before adding the next, gradually and patiently building up richness and depth while achieving a likeness.  A little like the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, this small space becomes your world.
      Tom Sully:  Susan Tying Her Necklace, 2011, watercolor on ivory, 2 7/8 x 2 3/8 in.
      NOL:  Do you work from photographs or do your miniature subjects pose while you sketch or paint?

      TS:  I like to work from photographs that I take myself.  I find photography a useful conceptual tool – we can try out different angles on the face, different hairstyles, clothing, jewelry and lighting until we are happy with the composition in one or more of them.  The photos do not then become “the be all and end all” but what Degas called an “aide de memoire.” While I paint, I improve on the photos.  Sentiment, emotion and empathy continually inform my hand.  My ancestor said, “from long experience I know that resemblance in a portrait is essential; but no fault shall be found with the artist, at least by the sitter, if he improve the appearance”. 

      NOL:  How did you learn about the availability of woolly mammoth ivory? 

      TS:  My first efforts were on Ivorine, a 20th century ivory substitute, and then vellum mounted on card.  One supplier led me to another until I found someone in Dorset who could obtain mammoth ivory from Siberia where research crews have been finding whole woolly mammoths preserved in the permafrost.  He has since sold his business but fortunately I have a pretty good stockpile.  

      Tom Sully: Eric, His Eye, 2011, watercolor on ivory, 3/4 x 5/8 in.
      NOL:  What led you to painting eye portraits?
      TS:  My interest was piqued by an article about eye portraits that I found in a 1904 issue of The Connoisseur.  When a portrait commission took me to Philadelphia, I was spellbound by the collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  They are surely the most startling and, as portraits exchanged between lovers, the most romantic form of the art.  There is a mystery to eye portraits that I’m unable to explain.  It may come in part from seeing such an arresting image in so small a format – they are usually no bigger than one-half to three-quarters of an inch.  In the Look of Love show currently at the Birmingham Museum of Art, there are stick pins and rings with images even smaller!  In my experience of painting these, people that know the portrait subject immediately recognize them from this one fragment.  I also find that they resonate well with a contemporary art audience.  As I said to my wife one day,  “eye portraits are so damn strange that they may as well be cutting-edge contemporary art!”

      Tom Sully: Lucy, watercolor on ivory, 2/2 x 2 1/8 in.
      NOL:  We noticed on your website that you also paint dogs.

      TS:  I love painting dog portraits.  One need only look at the work of Sir Edwin Landseer to see that dog painting is serious business. Dogs are great to w
      ork with since they are less self-conscious than we are.  A British client hired me to paint miniatures of his two bulldogs.  When one of them died about six months later, we realized we had been unknowingly prescient. I painted a West Highland Terrier in Palm Beach who was so poised that she must have been a fashion model in a previous life.
      Tom Sully: Solomon, 2006, watercolor on ivory, 2 1/2 x 2 1/16 in.
      NOL: What do you charge for a portrait miniature?

       

      TS:  I charge $3,000 for a head and shoulders to half-length portrait miniature and $2,500 for an eye portrait.  These prices include the cost of a locket in rose gold, yellow gold or sterling silver.

      NOL:  Tell us about your current work?

      TS:  I’m currently painting an eye portrait commission for a client in Birmingham, Alabama.  I’m also working on a body of Louisiana inspired landscapes for a show in New Orleans this fall.  I used to live there and began exploring the countryside for landscape subjects during the evacuation from Hurricane Katrina.  The bayou country and especially the swamps, which seem to exist outside of time and civilization, are a great subject for a painter with a Romantic bent.
      Tom Sully: Grand Coteau Oak, 2012, oil on linen 22 x 27 in. 
      NOL:  What are your upcoming exhibitions?

      TS:  Louisiana Reveries: Landscapes by Thomas Sully, October 6 – 31, 2012;
      Jean Bragg Gallery of Southern Art, 600 Julia Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.
      Tom Sully:  Nocturne in Blue and Gold, 2011, oil on linen 24 x 18 in.

      NOL:  Many thanks to you, Tom Sully. Your life and work are fascinating. 
      Visit Tom Sully’s website here to see more of his work.
      Tom Sully: Night Flight, 2012, oil on linen, 17 x 24 in.

      The Charlotte Gunning Portrait at Chawton House by Guest Blogger Hester Davenport

      The Portrait of Charlotte Gunning (1759-94)
      copyright Chawton House Library

      On 15 May 1784 it was the turn of Charlotte Margaret Gunning, Maid of Honour to Queen Charlotte, to have use of the Royal Coach. Her friend Mary Hamilton called at St James’s Palace, and went with Charlotte to ‘Romney’s, the Painter’s’ where Miss Gunning was ‘to sit for her picture’. That half-length portrait now hangs in Chawton House Great Hall.
      Mary Hamilton had also been employed in the royal household, to help with the education of the young princesses; she found her duties arduous, thankfully withdrawing from court after five years. Perhaps the two young women talked over the difficulties of royal service, which included their reputations as ‘learned ladies’. Both had had ‘masculine’ educations in the classical languages: according to Fanny Burney Miss Gunning was derogatively nicknamed ‘Lady Charlotte Hebrew’ for her learning.
      Charlotte was the daughter of Sir Robert Gunning (1731-1816), a diplomat who was so successful in conducting the King’s business with the Empress of Russia that in 1773 he was made  Knight of the Bath. His daughter’s appointment as Maid of Honour to Queen Charlotte in 1779 was no doubt a further sign of royal favour. He had two other children, his son George who would inherit the baronetcy, and another daughter Barbara. His wife had died when Charlotte was eleven-years-old, but in the 1780s he ordered portraits of himself and his three children from the society portraitist, George Romney (1734-1802).
      The painting of the 25-year-old Charlotte is interesting in its apparent contradictions. The colours are muted, with the head veiled in white and the black dress severely plain, yet it is very low-cut, and the sitter looks out self-assured and even challenging. A warm glow in the sky behind suggests there is feeling and passion beneath that cool exterior. Charlotte’s hair is dressed high on her head and fashionably powdered. A hat might have been expected, but scarves, called ‘fascinators’, sometimes replaced large hats, especially for evening wear.
      There were six Maids of Honour, paid £300 a year, with duties that must have been stultifyingly dull, standing in attendance at the Queen’s ‘Drawing rooms’ and other court functions (though periods of duty were rotated). Charlotte kept her position for nearly twelve years before managing to escape. It was not easy to withdraw from royal service, as both Mary Hamilton and Fanny Burney discovered, and reaching her thirtieth birthday in 1789 Charlotte must have feared a dreary life of spinsterhood. But on 6 January 1790 she achieved an honourable discharge when she married a widower, Colonel the Honourable Stephen Digby, the Queen’s Vice Chamberlain. Another of Charlotte’s friends, Mary Noel, wrote in a letter of her surprise that Sir Robert gave his consent ‘as it must be a very bad match for her if he has four children’, though she also recorded Charlotte saying that she ‘can’t live without his friendship and could not keep that without marrying him’.
      For Fanny Burney the news of the forthcoming wedding was a shock: she believed that Digby had been paying her marked attention for two years and that she should have received the proposal. Her sense of betrayal was huge and she gave vent to her feelings in page after page of her journal. She never blamed Charlotte but no doubt got sly pleasure from noting the King shaking his head over ‘Poor Digby’ (because his bride was a learned lady) or recording the strange details of the wedding: that it was performed by Dr Fisher, Bishop of Salisbury, in the Drawing-room of Sir Robert’s house in Northampton, with the guests sitting round on sofas and ladies’ workboxes not cleared away. The new Mrs Digby paid a visit to Miss Burney, ‘quite brilliant in smiles and spirits’ and Fanny did her the justice of saying that she believed that Miss Gunning had ‘long cherished a passionate regard’ for Colonel Digby.
      Two children, Henry Robert and Isabella Margaret, were born in quick succession, but the marriage was not to be long-lasting. In June 1794 Charlotte Digby died (possibly in childbirth – the brief obituary notice in the Genteman’s Magazine gives no cause of death). She was buried in the vault of Thames Ditton church where Digby’s first wife lay: he would join his two ‘dear wives’ there in 1800.
      Charlotte Gunning wrote no books, has found no place in history. But there could surely be no more suitable place for her portrait than Chawton Women’s Library, in the society of so many other ‘learned ladies’.
      Permission to reprint this article, which first ran in The Female Spectator, was kindly granted by that publication and Chawton House Library.