1874 - 1962
Portrait of a Young Lady
Oil on canvas, signed and dated 1917, lower right
Image size: 30 x 25 inches
Original auricular frame
Francis ("Frank") Owen Salisbury (18 December 1874 – 31 August 1962) was an English artist who specialised in portraits, large canvases of historical and ceremonial events, stained glass and book illustration. In his heyday he made a fortune on both sides of the Atlantic and was known as “Britain’s Painter Laureate”. His art was steadfastly conservative and he was a vitriolic critic of Modern Art – particularly of his contemporaries Picasso, Chagall and Mondrian.
Frank Salisbury painted the leading society figures of his day on both sides of the Atlantic, including four US presidents and many industrialists. His specialism was large canvases of ceremonial events.
At the request of President Obama, Salisbury's painting of Harry S. Truman was hung in the White House Cabinet Room in 2009.
His sitters included members of the royal family. He painted Winston Churchill more frequently than any other artist.
1883 – 1956
Portrait of a Girl
Pastel, signed lower left
Image size: 18 x 15 inches
Laurencin was born in Paris, the illegitimate daughter of Pauline Laurencin and Alfred Toulet. She did not know her father’s identity until she was 22, eight years after his death.
Laurencin studied porcelain painting at the Sèvres factory. She later entered the Académie Humbert, where she met Georges Braque and Georges Lepape.
In 1907 she exhibited at Clovis Sagot’s gallery in Montmartre. There, Pablo Picasso introduced her to Guillaume Apollinaire, with whom she would be romantically involved until 1913. Picasso and Apollinaire introduced Laurencin to the Bateau Lavoir, where she met Fernande Olivier, Max Jacob, André Salmon, Maurice Raynal, Maurice Cremnitz, Gertrude Stein, and André Derain, among others.
In 1908 Group of Artists is purchased by Gertrude Stein, Laurencin’s first sale. The painting is a group portrait of Laurencin, Apollinaire, Picasso and his mistress, Fernande Olivier. In 1913 Laurencin’s relationship with Apollinaire ended, signalling the end of her Cubist-inspired period.
During the First World War, Laurencin left France for exile in Spain with her German-born husband, Baron Otto von Waëtjen, since through her marriage she had automatically lost her French citizenship. The couple subsequently lived together briefly in Düsseldorf. After they divorced in 1920, she returned to Paris, where she achieved financial success as an artist until the economic depression of the 1930s. During the 1930s she worked as an art instructor at a private school. She lived in Paris until her death.
Julio Moises Fernandez de Villasante
1888 - 1968
Portrait of a Young Woman
Oil on canvas, signed and dated lower left
Image size: 34 x 29 inches
Gilt wooden frame
Julio Moises Fernandez de Villasante was born in 1988 in Tortosa, Spain. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Cadiz, where he received several prizes and a commission to decorate the magnificent Grand Theatre of the city. He moved to Barcelona in 1912, whereupon he began exhibiting regularly including San Francisco (1915) and Panama (1916). He continued to exhibit all over the world for the rest of his life.
Moises founded a free Academy of Art in Madrid in 1923, which was attended by Salvador Dali. Around the same time he was commissioned to paint the portaits of a number of the Spanish royal family, most notably King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia.
Moises was apponted director of the School of Fine Arts in Madrid in 1946. He died in Suances in 1968.
Philip De László
Hungarian 1869 - 1937
Portrait of a Marion Johnson
Oil on Board, signed and dated "1929 London" lower right
Image size: 29 x 24 inches (74 x 61 cm)
Original gilt frame
Presented by de László to the sitter.
Sir Herbert James Gunn R.A.
1893 - 1964
Portrait of Angela Blundell
Oil on canvas
Image size: 18 x 14 inches
Contemporary Style Frame
The Fine Art Society
Angela worked for Gunn, she was his secretary, saw sitters in and out, organised everything and must have sat for him too on an idle day.
We are gratefull to Chloe Gunn for this information.
Herbert James Gunn was born in Glasgow, 30th June 1893. He studied at the renowned Glasgow School of Art of René Mackintosh fame and subsequently at the Edinburgh College of Art. However, though a Scot by birth and artistic training, Gunn was to develop a style very much his own, an ‘international’ modern style imbued with influences from French Impressionism, modern British painting and his Scottish heritage.
Following his studies at Edinburgh Gunn travelled to Paris enrolling at the Académie Julian under Jean-Paul Laurens.
On his return to England, Gunn rapidly established himself as a leading painter of portraits in addition to landscapes and conversation pieces. Gunn exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1923, at the Royal Scottish Academy and in Paris, where in 1931 he was awarded a silver medal at the Société Artistes Français and a gold medal at the Paris salon of 1939.
Throughout the 1930’s and 40’s Gunn’s reputation as a portrait painter increased, he was to become the portrait painter of choice to Society and the Establishment, in 1953-54 Gunn reached his apogee as a portrait painter with the commission to paint the state portrait of H.M. The Queen.
Gunn was elected to the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 1945 and President in 1953, the same year being elected ARA and a Royal Academician in 1961, Gunn was also a member of the National Society of Painters, Sculptors and Engravers.
A highly successful artist, Gunn was knighted in 1962 for his services to the arts; he died at his home in Hampstead, London on 30th December 1964.
The Royal Collection
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Gallery, London
The National Galleries, Scotland.
Flourished circa 1920 - 1940
Portrait of Dorothy Cox
Oil on board, monogrammed and dated 1929 lower right
Image size: 23½ x 18¼ inches
Glasgow School of Art label verso
After Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Portrait of Nicolaes van Bambeeck
Oil on canvas
Image size: 19 x 14 ½ inches
A period copy of this stunning portrait by Rembrandt.
Rembrandt was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history.
Unlike most Dutch masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt's works depict a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies.
His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch art (especially Dutch painting), although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative, and gave rise to important new genres.
Like many artists of the Dutch Golden Age, such as Jan Vermeer of Delft, Rembrandt was also known as an avid art collector and dealer.
Sir William Rothenstein
1872 - 1945
Portrait of Cecil Day Lewis
Black and white chalk on paper
Image size: 13 ½ x 9 inches
Period gilt frame
The son of a clergyman, Day-Lewis was educated at the University of Oxford and taught at various schools until 1935. His Transitional Poem (1929) had already attracted attention, and in the 1930s he was closely associated with W.H. Auden (whose style influenced his own) and other poets who sought a left-wing political solution to the ills of the day.
William was born at Spring Bank Place, Manningham in Bradford to a middle-class German/Jewish immigrant family – his father, Moritz, was a successful wool merchant, who had moved to Bradford n the 1860s. The German business community became influential in Bradford – then a fast developing centre for the woollen textile industry, and Moritz had quickly established his own business in the city. His wife, Bertha, had joined him in 1865, and six children were born; William was the fifth of these.
After Sir Thomas Lawrence PRA FRS
1769 - 1830
Portrait of Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine KT PC KC
Oil on canvas
Image size:30 x 25 inches
Original giltwood frame
Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine was born January 10, 1750 in Edinburgh. As a Whig lawyer he made important contributions to the protection of personal liberties.
His defense of various politicians and reformers on charges of treason and related offenses acted to check repressive measures taken by the government in the aftermath of the French Revolution.
He also contributed to the law of criminal responsibility. He was raised to the peerage in 1806 and died November 17, 1823, Almondell, Linlithgowshire.
The outstanding English portrait painter of his generation. Lawrence was a child prodigy and was almost entirely self-taught. He was also handsome and charming, and after a resounding early triumph with his portrait of Queen Charlotte, he never looked back in terms of professional and social success (the queen herself disliked the portrait, but it was acclaimed when exhibited at the Royal Academy).
On the death of Reynolds in 1792 Lawrence succeeded him as official painter to George III, and in 1794, aged 25, he became the youngest person to be elected a Royal Academician (although Mary Moser was a founder member when even younger). On the death of Hoppner in 1810 he was recognized as the leading portrait painter of the time, and also to some extent as head of the profession of painting in Britain. He was knighted in 1815, and in 1818 he was sent to Europe as the envoy of the Prince Regent (later George IV) to paint the heads of state and military leaders who were involved with the allied victory over Napoleon (the portraits painted on this tour—including some of his finest works—are now in the Waterloo Chamber, Windsor Castle). On his return to England in 1820 he succeeded West as president of the Royal Academy.
Lawrence was devoted to the memory and example of Reynolds and in some respects he was the last of the great portrait painters in the 18th-century tradition. In others he was a Romantic, responding to the glamour of the historic years through which he lived. His fluid and lush brushwork won the admiration of French painters when his work was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1824 and after Delacroix visited London in the following year he paid Lawrence the compliment of painting a portrait in his style.
Lawrence's reputation declined after his death, however, and has never revived to its former heights. In spite of his success he was constantly in debt and consequently took on too many commissions, so his work is uneven and sometimes careless (and like Reynolds he was a failure as a history painter), but at his best he has a feeling for paint that few British artists can rival. He was also a superb draughtsman, producing highly finished portrait drawings that rival those of Ingres in delicacy of touch and sensitivity of characterization.
Throughout his career he was a student of Old Master drawings, of which he made a great collection, particularly rich in works by Michelangelo and Raphael (these are now among the treasures of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford). He played a part in founding the National Gallery and in securing the Elgin Marbles for the nation, and was noted for the unselfish help he gave to young artists.
Francis Hayman RA
Oil on oak panel
Image size: 8 x 6¼ inches
Contemporary gilt frame
This newly discovered work is the earliest known self portrait by Francis Hayman, dated to the mid to late 1720’s.
The small scale of the portrait gives it a strong sense of intimacy. Whereas clients would often dress themselves in their best clothes for a sitting, Hayman has portrayed himself in informal attire, with his shirt unbuttoned and a wig cap.
Born in 1708 to a respectable Devonshire family, his training began at the tender age of ten under the tutelage of the historical painter Robert Brown, who was probably an uncle. By the 1730’s he is known to have been engaged in painting scenery for the popular theatres on Goodman’s Fields and Drury Lane. He established a studio on St Martin’s Lane, and demonstrated his versatility as one of the most important painters of his time in portraits, illustration and history painting. Indeed, he was one of the first English painters deemed to have the skill and proficiency to rival that of the foreign masters, such as Holbein and Kneller, who were brought in by the court to make up for the perceived shortcomings of the native artists.
Led by William Hogarth, Hayman and other artists began to create a new movement in the English art world. Thomas Gainsborough was one of his pupils, whom he is said to have introduced to the more lascivious and debauched underbelly of London life.
After mostly making his living as an illustrator, in the 1740’s Hayman was commissioned by the proprietor of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Jonathan Tyers, to produce a series of four large celebratory canvases depicting British victories from the Seven Years War. His association with Tyers continued, and over the next ten years he produced a number of large decorative paintings for the ornate supper boxes that were a very popular feature of the gardens.
Success as a portrait and conversation piece artist arose from his relaxed style, which cast aside the usual formal settings and poses to embrace the genteel environments of the urban middle classes in society, depicting their privileged life. These were often painted in the rococo style, which had become very popular in England in the early eighteenth century.
In 1768 Hayman is listed as a founding member of the Royal Academy, and rather ironically, given his rather wayward character, held the office of Academy Librarian from 1771 until his death in 1776.
He is believed to have been married twice, although there is no surviving record of his first marriage.
Hayman died of gout in his house on Dean Street in Soho in February 1776. He is buried in an unmarked grave in nearby St Anne’s churchyard.
We are grateful to Professor Brian Allen, for confirming the attribution to Francis Hayman based on first hand examination of the work.
Literature: - Allen, Brian, Francis Hayman, Yale University Press, (1987).
Portrait of a Gentleman in a Slashed Black Doublet
Oil on panel, signed and dated 1629
Image size: 31 x 24½ inches
A skilled portraitist and, for a short time, court artist to King Charles I, Johnson was well known during his lifetime and his works are present in some of the foremost collections and museums in the country, including that of The National Portrait Gallery, who held an exhibition of his work in 2015.
Johnson produced several hundred known portraits and is the first English-born artist to have consistently signed and dated his work.
Johnson was born in London in 1593. Of Flemish origins, his Protestant family had fled to England to escape religious persecution. The young Johnson probably travelled to the continent to train as an artist in the Netherlands, before returning to London to establish himself in Blackfriars around 1618. His skill as a portraitist was in high demand amongst well-off merchants, lawyers, members of the gentry and the minor aristocracy. In 1632, the same year as the arrival of van Dyck to court, Johnson was appointed as ‘picture drawer’ to King Charles I. In 1639 he produced full-length portraits of the king’s
children, the future Charles II and his younger brother, later James II, as well as their sister, Mary, future wife of the Prince of Orange.
Johnson’s court career was cut short in 1643 by the turbulence and loss of patronage resulting from the outbreak of the English Civil War. He returned once more to the
continent where he continued his career as a portraitist until his death in Utrecht in 1661.
The work of Daniel Mytens and, later that of van Dyck, both had an influence on Johnson, but his work retained its own individual and somewhat traditional characteristics. He produced miniatures and full-length works, but his real area of expertise was in half and three-quarter-length portraits, an
intimate format, which best suited his somewhat conservative style.
Johnson is admired for the inherent tranquillity in his works and for his expertise in depicting costume.
This captivating portrait of an unknown gentleman dressed in a black slashed doublet and ruff dates from the l620’s to 1630’s. Black was a popular colour in the early Stuart period, particularly during the 1630’s, and many of Johnson’s male sitters from this period are depicted in similar costumes. The portraitist’s skill is exhibited here in the soft modelling of the gentleman’s features and the delicate manner in which he has rendered the fine lace of the ruff. The sitter’s gaze is direct, but Johnson has
captured a slight wistfulness in his expression, which gives the work a gentle charm
- Hearn, K. Cornelius Johnson, London, (2015).
- Ribeiro, A. Fashion and Fiction: Dress in Art and Literature in Stuart England, London, (2005).