English School17th CenturyPortrait of Thmoas Cromwell 1st Earl of EssexOil on canvasImage size: 24 x 20 inchesGiltwood frame PROVENANCE:Private Estate, England
The inventory of Cromwell's house at Austin Friars in Throngmorton Street records two portraits of Cromwell in the same room, presumably of different types. Cromwell is known to have sat to Holbein while he was Master of the Jewel House, circa 1532-4. The likeness then taken was most likely used for the celebrated portrait in the Frick Collection, New York, and adapted after Cromwell's investiture with the Order of the Garter in 1537 for a miniature (London, National Portrait Gallery; S. Foister, Holbein & England, London, 2004, p. 104, fig. 110, '?Workshop').
The present portrait is also adapted from the Holbein type, but showing a more sombre looking man. Variants of the present portrait are at Petworth, and also formerly in the collection of Lord Cunliffe (sold at Sotheby's, London, 23 January 1946, lot 152) (see R. Strong, National Portrait Gallery: Tudor & Jacobean Portraits, London, 1969, p. 114, '16th century workshop reproductions of varying size').
The son of a cloth merchant, who was trained as a lawyer, Cromwell's meteoric rise was owed initially to his conveyancing skills which proved indispensable to Cardinal Wolsey when selling off the dissolved monateries in the 1520s.
He went on to become Wolsey's most senior and trusted advisor. Astutely acting as a go-between for the Cardinal and King Henry VIII during the divorce controversy, Cromwell managed to survive Wolsey's disgrace and his abilities having come to the King's attention, he secured a place on the King's council in 1530. He subsequently took control of the supervision of the King's legal and parliamentary affairs and became instrumental in the break from Rome, which asserted the royal supremacy over the church, enabling Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn.
He was rewarded by becoming principal secretary and chief minister 1534-36. Cromwell's final fall from grace, which culminated in his execution in 1540, can be attributed to a number of set-backs, the final straw being his decisive part in Henry's ill-conceived marriage negotiations with Anne of Cleves.
James Penniston Barraclough
Portrait of a Boy
Oil on canvas, signed & dated 1928
Image size; 30 x 25 inches
James Penniston Barraclough was a painter of portraits in oils. He lived and worked in London and exhibited mainly at the Walker Art Gallery, RA, RP and ROI, becoming a member of the latter in 1922.
Barraclough was the eldest child of three, born at 103 Market Street in Thornton, Yorkshire to Sarah Annie Barraclough and John Harold Barraclough, a jeweller and goldsmith. By the age of twenty in 1911 he was recorded as being an art student residing at 38 Richmond Road, Paddington, London in a rented room belonging to Mary Anna Parry.
In 1916 he married Gladys Maud Thompson in St Luke’s Church, Chelsea, and his profession is listed as a soldier rather than an artist. In 1917 he was based in France as part of the Royal Garrison Artillery where he received the Victory and British War Medals for service. The Barracloughs had a daughter Jillian Mary, who was born in 1918.
Oil on canvas, signed lower right
Image size: 30 x 22 inches
Sheila Holland was born in Chesterfield in Derbyshire and grew up in Wolverhampton, were she studied art. Holland was a solitary and private person, eventually establishing her studio at Lower Bradford Cottage on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall in 1985.
Oil on oak panel
Image size: 6 x 4 inches
Modern replica of a auricular frame
In this image, the donor is seen worshiping, almost as if in a direct conversation. For the donor, this both serves as a reminder that Christ answers prayers and displays her piety for everyone to see.
Most likely cut down from a larger painting, probably on the other side would have been the Virgin Mary and Christ child. People in Northern Europe venerated Mary above all other saints, so her image is very common.
As the portrait has a plain dark background, of the type traditionally favored for Burgundian court portraiture, a conventional reconstruction might also feature the Virgin and Child with a uniform dark background.
Portrait of a Young Man
Oil on canvas on board
Image size: 5 x 4 inches
Attr: John Hoppner
1758 - 1810
Portrait of a Lady
Oil on canvas
Image size: 30 x 25 inches
Original gilt swept frame
After the death of Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1792, Hoppner was considered by his contemporaries to be England’s most important portrait painter. Having entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1775, by 1785 Hoppner had risen meteorically from painting the gentry to exhibiting portraits of members of the royal family.
He was appointed Portrait Painter to the Prince of Wales in 1793, and attracted many famous sitters including Admiral Lord Nelson and William Pitt.
1713 - 1784
Portrait of a Gentleman
Oil on Canvas
Image size: 30 x 25 inches
Period gilt frame
Painter to King George III and widely recognised as one of the most talented portraitists of his generation, Allan Ramsay was born in Edinburgh in 1713. His father, also named Allan Ramsay, was a poet and playwright, best known as the author of The Gentle Shepherd (1725). Like many of the most prestigious portraitists of his age, the young Ramsay studied at the St. Martin’s Lane Academy in London, as well as training in the studio of Swedish painter Hans Hysing.
In 1736, Ramsay travelled to Italy for the first time, working at the French Academy in Rome under the instruction of Francesco Imperiali before moving to Naples, where he worked in the studio of Francesco Solimena.
Invigorated by his experience under the Italian-baroque masters on the continent, Ramsay returned to Britain in 1738 and set up his own portrait practice in Covent Garden. His work swiftly gained in popularity and he soon attained an impressive list of clients, including the Duke of Bridgewater, Sir Robert Walpole, the Lord Chancellor Philip Yorke, Earl of Hardwicke and Dr. Richard Mead. As well as expanding his list of clients in London, Ramsay also retained his contacts in his native Edinburgh, where he continued to maintain a studio. His work proved particularly popular amongst the Scottish nobility and he received a number of important commissions from figures such as the Duke of Argyll and the Duke of Buccleuch.
This beautiful portrait of a lady in a green dress was painted in 1747, the year which Smart cites as marking a watershed in Ramsay’s artistic development (see Smart, ‘The Art of Allan Ramsay’ in Smart, A. and Marshall, R. (ed.), Allan Ramsay 1713-1785, Edinburgh, (1992 p.20). Created in the same year that Ramsay presented his magnificent full-length portrait of Dr. Richard Mead to the Foundling Hospital in London, this work was most likely painted in London or in Edinburgh, where the artist was situated between the summer of 1747 and January 1748.
The portrait has a luminous quality and displays the natural sensitivity which Ramsay brings to much of his work, particularly in his portrayal of female sitters, a quality noted by Horace Walpole who praised Ramsay for his delicacy and expressed the opinion that he was superior to Reynolds as a painter of women (for quotation, see Smart, A. ‘The Art of Allan Ramsay’ in Smart, A. and Marshall, R. (ed.), Allan Ramsay 1713-1785, Edinburgh, (1992) p.11).
Ramsay visited Italy for a second time from 1754 to 1757, and it was on his return to London in 1757 that he received his first commission from Lord Bute, tutor to the Prince of Wales, to paint the heir to the throne. In 1761, Ramsay was chosen to paint the Prince, now George III, and his wife Queen Charlotte in full state coronation robes. The works were a great success and Ramsay was appointed Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King in March 1767 and subsequently spent much of his time producing copies of his coronation portraits and other works for the royal family. Ramsay’s career in painting was halted by an injury to his arm, which he sustained from a fall from a ladder in 1773. A close friend of Dr. Johnson and David Hume, and correspondent of the likes of Voltaire and Rousseau, Ramsay spent his latter years following his intellectual and literary pursuits until his death in 1784.
Campbell, M. Allan Ramsay: Portraits of the Enlightenment, London, (2013).- Smart, A. Allan Ramsay: A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings, London, (1999).- Smart, A. Allan Ramsay: Painter, Essayist and man of the Enlightenment, London, (1992).- Smart, A. and Marshall, R. (ed.), Allan Ramsay 1713-1785, Edinburgh, (1992).