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.
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.
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).
Oil on canvas
Image size: 23½ x 19½ inches
Jackson was born at Duddington, Northamptonshire on 5 March 1878. He enrolled at the Slade School of Art in 1893 where he studied alongside fellow students Wyndham Lewis, Orpen, Gertler, Nash and Nevinson. He left the Slade in 1899 in order to travel to Canada, USA and Mexico, spending three years in Italy.
In 1911, he joined the Army. Upon the outbreak of the First World War, his battalion was sent to France. He was captured in 1916 and was held at various German prisoner of war camps, largely at Schwarmstedt in Saxony. Whilst in captivity he befriended the poet Frederick William Harvey, for whom Jackson executed the drawing that decorates the front cover of Harvey’s biographical work, Comrades in Captivity.
The Imperial War Museum contains two paintings by Jackson. These works, along with several others, were displayed in the exhibition, 'The Nation’s War Paintings and other Records' that toured British cities between 1919 and 1920.
In 1918, a few days after the end of the war and just three weeks after his return to England, he married the Hon. Hildred Mosley.
Jackson moved to Westleton, Suffolk, where he continued to paint and began wood carving. Jackson exhibited at the Royal Academy, the International Society, Walker Art Gallery, London Salon and the New English Art Club.
Jackson was heavily involved with Walter Francis Crittall’s ‘Sole Bay Group’ in the early 1930’s, which became popular with many of the leading artists of the time.
circa 1705 - 1770
Portrait of a King's Messenger
Oil on canvas
Image size: 35¾ x 28 inches (91 x 71 cm)
Original gilt frame
The silver greyhound on the messenger's badge dates back to Charles II. In 1660, during his exile at Breda, Netherlands, Charles II issued a declaration of amnesty to all those who had opposed him and his father. He used messengers to make his intentions known. In answer to the messenger's question "How will they know me?", Charles reached forward to a silver bowl on the table in front of him. This bowl, with four decorative greyhounds standing proud above the rim, was well known to all courtiers. Charles broke off a greyhound and gave it to the messenger as a guarantee that the message came from him. From that date, the King's Messenger always wore a silver greyhound around his neck.
1633 - 1696
Portrait of a Lady by a Fountain
Oil on canvas
Image size: 49 x 40 ¼ inches
of Charles II.
Whilst England was under the puritanical rule of Oliver Cromwell, Charles had spent many years living in exile in France. The young king picked up a taste for foreign fashion and on his return set up a court that was more lavish and licentious than any that had gone before. It was a place where theatrical performance was commonplace and where powerful women would take a new prominence, many winning great influence and celebrity.
The famous diarist, Samuel Pepys visited Huysmans’ studio in 1664. Pepys was clearly impressed, commenting that during his visit, he had seen ‘as good pictures, I think, as ever I saw’, and noting that the artist was capable of a more exact likeness than his famous contemporary Sir Peter Lely, (see Coward, B. A Companion to Stuart Britain, Oxford, (2003), p.203). Certainly the diarist records that by 1664, Huysmans was reckoned to be the better painter of the two amongst the circle of the Queen, Catherine of Braganza.
This impressive portrait depicts a fashionable lady seated by a fountain in the middle of a rose garden. The sitter’s identity is unknown but she was doubtless of extremely high social standing and is shown here wearing a style of dress that was typically worn by the ladies at court in the 1660’s and 1670’s.
Dethloff, D. ‘Portraiture and Concepts of Beauty in Restoration Painting’ in Macleod, C. and Marciari Alexander J. (ed.), Painted Ladies: Women at the Court of Charles II, London, (2001), p.32).
The artist was an expert at depicting the textures and folds of the rich fabrics worn by the nobility and he has captured in great detail the way that the light catches the tawny silks and the loose ringlets falling through the lady’s fingers.
Huysmans’ work continued to be popular at court and he painted many important members of the aristocracy, including the Duke of Lauderdale and the Duke of Albemarle. The artist’s career in London was briefly interrupted in 1666, when he temporarily relocated to Sussex, perhaps fearing that his Catholic faith might attract suspicion in the paranoid and xenophobic atmosphere following the Great Fire of London. He died thirty years later in London in 1696 and was interred at St. James’s Piccadilly.
- Macleod, C. and Marciari Alexander J. (ed.), Painted Ladies: Women at the Court of Charles II, London,
- Coward, B. A Companion to Stuart Britain, Oxford, (2003).
Darnley Fine Art Limited holds an extensive stock of fine portraits dating from the 16th to the 21st century.
We are a leading specialist in portraiture, having recently hosted a major exhibition in recently discovered portraits by some very prominent artists that had never before been on public display. Fine portrait paintings by Cornelius Johnson, Thomas Hudson, Francis Hayman and Mary Beale were all featured in the exhibition.
Darnley Fine Art currently has many fine portraits for sale that would be a great investment for the discerning art collector. We advise clients on starting or adding to their portrait collection, and are always happy to source particular genres and subject matter to a client’s particular taste.
Portraiture is experiencing a resurgence in popularity in the art market. Please browse through our website, and do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like more information or advice.
Nothing displays status like antique portraits. If you have an empty wall in your living room or corridor, decorate it with an portrait to make it feel historical as well as unique.
Most of the portraits are illustrated on the website, but we have others not listed. If your looking for a specific person on subject do let us know.