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William Stewart MacGeorge, RSA

(Scottish, 1861-1931)

Kirkcudbright School

Bark Peeling, 1889

Exhibited at The Royal Scottish Academy (1889) no.72

Oil on canvas laid down on panel

32 in x 52 3/4 in - 81.3cm x 134 cm (46in x 62 in framed)

in original Aitken Dott & Son Edinburgh giltwood exhibition frame

Provenance: Private Collection, Ontario, Canada

Literature:

Geddes, P. The Scottish Art Review volume I (1889) p.307.

Caw, Sir J.L.S. Scottish Painting, Past and Present (1908) p.406.

Morrison, J. Painting Labour in Scotland and Europe (2017) p.152-3.

MacGeorge's 'Bark Peeling' was exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1889 as a companion piece to his 1888 work 'A Galloway Peat-moss' now at The National Gallery of Scotland. These two works represent his largest and most ambitious depictions of peasant life in the Galloway area. Contemporary reviews of 'Bark Peeling'  note the "masterful grouping" of figures and the "masculinity" of the oak grove at sunrise. Bark-peeling was integral to the community around Kirkcudbright and throughout the Galloway region - entire families worked in the oak groves for months at a time peeling the bark to be used to soften the tannins in leather.

MacGeorge was born in Castle Douglas and trained at the Royal Institution (Edinburgh) with Hornel. He studied in Antwerp under Verlat, and exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy from 1881-1931, founding the Kirkcudbright School in the 1880s. In 'Bark Peeling', MacGeorge assimilates French Impressionism with the lessons of the Glasgow School in a unique nineteenth century Scots version of the early Impressionist movement.

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Andrea Soldi (c.1703-1771)

Portrait of James Francis Edward Stuart

The Old Pretender of Scotland (1688-1766)

bust-length in a cuirass and red cloak

dated 1755

Oil on Canvas

signed 'Aw. Soldi / Pinxit Ao. / 1755' lower left

Measuring 23 inches by 19 inches (30 inches by 26 inches framed)
In a period giltwood frame with early 20thc Christie's stencil to the reverse

Literature:

John Ingamells "Andrea Soldi: A Checklist of his Work" Connoisseur 1974.

Provenance:

H.W. Radford (London) 1927.

With L.A. Dupuy (London) 1932.

Christie's (London) sale of Old Master Pictures, March 11 1932, lot 7 "James Francis Edward Stuart"

Gunnar Asgeir Sadolin (Copenhagen) 1955 as "The Old Pretender of Scotland"

Private Collection, Toronto Canada.

Many thanks to Dr Edward Corp for his assistance in cataloguing this work.

 

This exceptionally important work, by one of the most famous foreign portraitists working in eighteenth-century England, shows a strikingly humble and 'human' image of the exiled Stuart King, Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, son of James II of England and VII of Scotland. Known as "King James III" to his followers and "The Old Pretender" to his opponents, James Stuart lived in exile in France and Italy as claimant to the thrones of Scotland and England from 1701 to his death in 1766. He launched several unsuccessful rebellions, the final being led by his son Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Louis Philip Casimir Stuart, 'The Young Pretender') which ended in defeat on Culloden Moor in 1746 - this being the last battle ever fought on British soil and the end of the Jacobite rebellions.

The present protrait bears remarkable resemblance to a pencil profile taken of James Francis Edward Stuart, by Francesco Ponzone circa 1741. According to the King's private secretary, this pencil profile was "a good likeness of James III" and one of the last images taken from life. Unlike most propaganda Stuart portraits and engravings that were distributed in England and Scotland amongst Jacobite supporters, the Ponzone profile accurately depicts an aging King. The Ponzone pencil drawing was engraved in 1747 and would have been accessible to Soldi in Scotand in the 1750s. The present work is also comparable to Cosmo Alexander's portrait of James III circa 1752 of which an images exists in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (previously thought to have been a portrait of George Keith, Earl Marischal and now identified as James III). It is highly possibly that Soldi would have based the present work on Alexander's 1752 portrait of James Francis Edward Stuart, as the two artists were colleagues and both working in Edinburgh in the mid-1750s.

Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann

(Danish, 1819-1881)

The Stocking-Mender

circa 1868

Exhibited at The Berlin Academy of Arts (1868), under the title "Strumpfstopferin by Elisabeth Jerichau"

where purchased by Victoria, Crown Princess of Prussia.

also exhibited under the title'Strømpestoppersken'

also called 'Peasant Woman of North Germany'

Of Royal Interest - from the personal Collection of Queen Victoria

Oil on Canvas

14 inches by 10 inches (23 inches by 19 inches framed)
In a period giltwood frame with extensive provenance details to the reverse.

 

Literature: 

Catalogued by Sir Arthur Durrant in his Osborne House Inventory of 1876, p.330, no.513, as follows:

'PEASANT WOMAN OF NORTH GERMANY.... MADAME JERICHAU-BAUMANN

An interior ; whole length figure, seated, and mending a stocking.

No. 513.  Canvas.  1 ft. 2in. x 10in.

Given to the Queen by the Crown Princess of Prussia, Christmas, 1868."

(additional pencil notation circa 1931 reading: "HRH Pcss Christian")

Provenance:

Given to Queen Victoria by her eldest daughter Victoria, Crown Princess of Prussia, Christmas 1868; Collection of Edward VII, at Osborne House until 1904 when removed from the Main Wing-First Floor which was converted to a convalescent home by 1911; Collection of George V; gifted to Her Royal Highness Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (third daughter of Queen Victoria) between 1910-1923; bequeathed to HRH Princess Helena Victoria and HRH Princess Marie Louise (grand-daughters of Queen Victoria), Schomberg House, London, after 1923; Collection of Lou Goldberg (1921-2015), Montreal, Canada.

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John Thomas Seton

(Scottish, 1738-1806)

Self Portrait

in Van Dyck dress holding a porte-crayon

circa 1775

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 Oil on Canvas

Measuring 36 inches by 28 inches / 42 inches by 34 inches framed

In a carved and giltwood frame

Provenance:

Bonhams (London) British Paintings, October 26, 1989, lot 95.

with Dave Dallas Fine Art (London)

John Thomas Seton (Seaton) was born with the advantage of court connections and was raised amongst the finest artists in eighteenth-century London, who congregated around Old Slaughters Coffee House on St. Martin's Lane and The Sublime Society of Beef Steaks at the Theatre Royal. Young Seton was the son of Christopher Seaton, Royal Gem & Seal Engraver to George Prince of Wales (later George III) and a founder of The Society of Artists of Great Britain (later amalgamated into The Royal Academy of Arts under founding president Sir Joshua Reynolds). Seton trained at the St. Martin's Lane Academy under Francis Hayman in the 1740s and 1750s. Between 1758 and 1759, he joined the fraternity of British painters studying in Rome, where he operated as an art buyer for Lord Bute on behalf of George, prince of Wales. He set up studios in Charing Cross, Covent Garden, Bath and Southampton, before moving to Edinburgh in 1772. He practised in Edinburgh as a society portraitist in the mid-1770s, during which period he send portraits to London for exhibition at The Society of Artists (1772) and The Royal Academy (1774). It was likely during this period in Edinburgh that the present self-portrait was painted.

In 1776, Seton traveled to Calcutta, where he quickly established a flourishing practice. He received commissions from the upper echelons of the British East India Company in Bengal, including Warren Hastings, Lieutenant-General Sir Eyre Coote, Chief Justice Sir Roberts Chambers, surgeon Ninian Lowis, and Maratha Empire statesman Nan Fadnavis. According to Ozias Humphry RA, Seton "returned to England after an easy time [in India]...with twelve thousand pounds in his pocket". In 1785, Seton returned to Edinburgh as a wealthy man and painted society portraits until his death in 1806.

William Mouncey

(Scottish, 1852-1901)

Kirkcudbright School

The Dark Rolling Dee, 1899

Exhibited at The Royal Glasgow Institute of Art (1899) no.451

Exhibited at The Carnegie Institute of Art (1899) no.162

Exhibited at The Whitechapel Gallery Exhibition (1912) no.16

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Oil on canvas

30 in x 50 in - 81.3cm x 134 cm

signed 'W. Mouncey' lower left

titled and numbered on reverse of stretcher

 

Provenance:

with Messrs James Connell & Sons (Glasgow)

Private Collection, Toronto, Canada

Literature:

Harper, M. Mcl. The Gallovidian, vol.VI, no.23 (1904) p.307.

William Mouncey, who was born and died near the River Dee at Kirkcudbright, was one of the founding members of the Scottish impressionist 'Kirkcudbright School' also known as the 'Kirkcudbright Artists' colony' along with his brother-in-law E. A. Hornel and his friend William Stewart MacGeorge. He exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Glasgow Institute of Arts, the Aberdeen Artists' Society, the Carnegie Institute of Art, the Whitechapel Gallery Exhibitions (London) and was widely exhibited by his patron Messrs James Connell & Sons Gallery (Glasgow). The present work, titled 'The Dark Rolling Dee', was one of Mouncey's largest and most exhibited works.

 

Sir James Lewis Caw applauds Mouncey's unique style and prominent position in the Glasgow school, achieved "using a fat, loaded impasto, built up in separate touches rather than laid down broadly and boldly with a full, sweeping brush, the ensemble of his pictures owed...nearly everything to harmony of tone, which was full and strong, and to design into which light and shade entered more largely than was the case in most work associated with the 'Kirkcudbright School'.

Percy Bates commends Mouncey "as the limner of Scottish landscapes ...; there his genius was nurtured and inspired, and there his heart lies...[painting the] mystery of woods, the brooding spirit of trees, the dash and murmur of brooks. The handling that he adopted was rich and free - the rich impasto of brushwork, the use of the palette knife to place pigment on canvas, even a squirt of pure colour from the tube....his massive use of paint [was] effective and legitimate on large canvases. The keynotes of Mouncey's colour were mellowness, sobriety and harmony - a palette in which golden and tawny hues were predominant. In inspiration, as in brushwork, he was an impressionist. He went to nature for his first suggestion, and sketched boldly and freely....his pictures were the expression of a remembered emotion...sublimations of the actual, crystallisations of a painter's dream, founded upon his intimate knowledge of the country he painted and his abounding love of it."

Sir Frank Brangwyn, ara

(Welsh, 1867-1956)

After Trafalgar

circa 1911

Illustration for Robert Southey's Life of Nelson Published by Gibbings & Co. (1911)

Frontispiece illustration for William Whall's Romance of Navigation published by S Low Marston & Co (1925)

Oil on Artist's Board

Measuring 17 inches by 21 inches / 30 inches by 34 inches framed
In a superb 19thc ebonized Flemish-style ripple frame c1860

Illustrated:

Southey, R. "Life of Nelson" illustrated by Frank Brangwyn, Gibbings & Co. (1911),

illustrated as a chromolithograph plate and titled 'After Trafalgar'.

Whall, W.B. "Romance of Navigation" illustrated by Frank Brangwyn,

S Low Marston & Co (1925), frontispiece titled 'After Trafalgar'.

Literature:

Shaw-Sparrow, W. "Prints & Drawings by Frank Brangwyn" John Lane,

The Bodley Head, London (1919) p219.

Provenance:

Private Collection, Toronto Canada. Previous whereabouts unknown

Many thanks to Dr Libby Horner for her assistance in cataloguing this work.

As Mr. Shaw-Sparrow recounts, "in 1911, [Brangwyn] enriched and completed a very charming edition of Southey's Life of Nelson...several colour-plates, all from good blocks and well printed, we have seen already; but others are less familiar to Brangwyn's versatility..."An Italian Water Festival" is amusing as an extemporised pagaent, and also because of its contrast with "After Trafalgar" where imaginative fervour gathers with coming dusk and storm around crippled battleships, one of which has a fatefulness accordant with Nelson's death in victory" (p219).

On the reverse of Brangwyn's After Trafalgar we are offered a rare glimpse into the works history: firstly, the only known example of Brangwyn using the reverse of a work as his colouring palette, and secondly, pencil notations from the publisher of Southey's Life of Nelson detailing the receipt of the original work from Brangwyn as well as instructions to the lithographer on the colouring, sizing and print dates of the work.

Brangwyn eloquently captured the character of this work and it's unique interpretation of one of the most famous and beloved battles in the history of England, when he proposed that "Art is individuality added to Tradition".

John Da Costa

(British, 1867-1931)

Portrait of Emilia Frances, Lady Dilke

Celebrated Author, Art Historian & Editor, Women's Rights Activist & Founder of the Women's Trade Union League

dated 1895

Exhibited at John da Costa: A Memorial Exhibition (1974), The Collection of Mrs Elisabeth M Richard, Leighton House , no.1.

Formerly in the collection of Union Leader & Womens Rights Activist Miss Gertrude Tuckwell, first female JP of London

Formerly in the Collection of the Chelsea Public Library'

 

signed 'da Costa 95' upper right

Oil on Canvas

33 inches by 24 inches (39 inches by 30 inches framed)

In a remarkable period carved and giltwood frame

Provenance:

Emilia Frances, Lady Dilke (Paris, France)

Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, 2nd Baronet, PC

Bequeathed to Miss Gertrude Tuckwell, J.P. (suffragette, niece of Lady Dilke, and first female J.P. of London)

Gifted to Chelsea Public Library Collection (gifted by Miss Gertrude Tuckwell 1919-20) 

Collection of Mrs. Elizabeth M. Richards.

Exhibited:

John da Costa: A Memorial Exhibition, The Collection of Mrs Elizabeth Richards, Leighton House, 1974.

This masterpiece of impressionist portraiture was commissioned in Paris by the sitter, Lady Emilia Dilke, a widely renowned art historian, connoisseur, author, labour organizer and suffragist.  As a truly immortalized Victorian character, Lady Dilke's intellectual and political career profoundly influenced Victorian society, and she gained celebrity status through George Eliot's "Middlemarch" in which heroine Dorothea Casaubon was modelled after Dilke.World renowned for her progressive work on French art, Dilke spent a large part of her life in Paris, where this work was painted.  She was considered the preeminent British authority on French art, and is still admired as one of the earliest widely recognized female art connoisseurs.

John da Costa (1867-1931) was born in Teignmouth, England and recognized as an artist of great potential early in his career by Frederick, Lord Leighton.  He received awards at the Paris Salon of 1906 and 1907, and he was a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.  In 1974, a memorial exhibition was dedicated to John da Costa of paintings from the collection of Mrs. Elizabeth M. Richards at Leighton House, London, in which this portrait was a featured exhibit.

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James Inskipp

(British, 1790-1868)

Portrait of a Maja

half-length, wearing a black taffeta mantilla

trimmed with scarlet fringes

also called The Irish Girl

circa 1833

 Oil on Canvas

36 inches by 28 inches (40 inches by 32 inches framed)

In a period carved and gilt wood frame

Provenance:

American Art Association - Anderson Galleries (later Parke-Bernett) New York, May 17 1934, lot 44 :​

JAMES INSKIPP, BRITISH: 1790-1868, PORTRAIT OF A MAJA.

Half-length figure to half-left of a handsome young woman, wearing a black taffeta mantilla, trimmed with scarlet fringes, and held closely about her shoulders. Background of dim evening landscape. Height, 36 inches ; width 28 inches.

James Inskipp of Surrey (1790-1868) exhibited numerous works at the Royal Academy of London from 1816 to 1864, and also at the British Institution and the Royal Society of British Artists.  A number of Inskipp's paintings were engraved for use in contemporary novels, and his works appear in such historically significant writings as Sir Walter Scott's 'Waverley' novels, Sir Izaak Walton's 'The Compleat Angler' and Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan's 'The Wild Irish Girl'.

Inskipp was "extremely popular, whether in the atelier or in society...the broad touches of his free pencil went well with his open heart and generous sentiments. He had a style of his own, and a very happy eye for jotting down points of character from them, securing a striking resemblence. His theory of portrait-painting was logical, and his practical development of that theory, successful. In Inskipp's portraits the form of the features and the lines of the contour seemed to come right of themselves, he did not trouble himself about them; he aimed at catching the likeness and that was always unmistakable. What is there indeed in the whole round of art so subtle as likeness in a portrait? If Inskipp had lived a little longer, he would probably have been the first to point out that this it is which constitutes the difference between a photograph and a portrait from the hand - or rather the mind - of an artist. In the photograph you have the features, in the portrait, the ideal." (from Mrs. Wm. Pitt Byrne's Gossip of The Century, 1892)

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Victor-Joseph Chavet

(French, 1822-1906)

The Artist in his Studio

L'artiste dans l'atelier

full-length, seated at an easel

with palette and brush in hand

circa 1860

Exhibited at The French Exposition (1861) no.21.

 Oil on Mahogany panel

21.5 cm by 16.5 cm (8.5 inches by 6.5 inches)

In a superb period carved gilt wood exhibition frame

Exhibited:

French Exposition (1861) catalogue number 21. Original exhibition label and notations to reverse of frame.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art The New York Centennial Loan Exhibition of Paintings (1876) no. 8.

Literature:

The Art Journal, printed by James Virtue (London) Volume VI (1861), p.125.

Provenance:

Mr Robert Gordon (1829-1918), trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, partner Messrs. Maitland, Phelps & Co., founding associate of JP Morgan.

Christie's (King Street) Ancient and Modern Pictures 23 Feb 1907, lot 7.

Odon Wagner Gallery, Toronto, Canada (gallery label to reverse of panel)

The Art Journal vol. VI (1861) selects highlights from the 1861 Exhibition of French Pictures referring to the present work as:

"A painter in his studio, by Chavet ; his is attired in the taste of the middle of the last century. This is a finished composition, which equally, in all its parts, satisfies the eye"

Victor Joseph Chavet was a student of Pierre Révoil in Lyon and Camille Roqueplan. He exhibited at the Paris Salons and was awarded numerous medals (1853, 1855, 1857, 1859). He was named Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1859 and holds state orders. In addition to his paintings, he also made important drawings of tapestries depicting the portraits of François I and the painter Francesco Romanelli, which are kept in the Apollo Gallery of the Louvre.

In 1857, Chavet was chosen by the State to participate in the completion of the Louvre, completed in five years by Napoleon III. He is also provided major works for the watercolor album offered by Napoleon III to Queen Victoria, depicting the main events of her trip to France, such as the Walk in the Ice Gallery in Versailles. His works are held in The Royal Collection Trust (UK), The Louve (Paris) and in Versailles.

 

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John Fleming

of Greenock

(Scottish, 1792-1845)

Portrait of William Holborn Fyfe

of Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland

half-length, leaning on a carpeted table

an open window and velvet drapes beyond

dated 1837

 signed 'John Fleming 1837' lower right

Oil on Canvas

19 inches by 16 inches (29 1/2  inches by 26 1/2 inches framed)

In a period carved and gilt wood frame with provenance details to the reverse.

Provenance:

with James Connell & Sons Ltd., Fine Art Dealers (Glasgow)

Private Collection, Toronto, Canada

Further details available upon request. See catalogue essay below.

John Fleming was born in Greenock, Scotland in 1792 and painted numerous fine local scenes and landscapes there throughout his career. A member of the West of Scotland Academy, he remained in Greenock, and becaume one of the most successful artists from that region. His scenes around Greenock are highly prized by collectors of Scottish Art and grace the walls of many of Scotland's finest museums and private collections. His portraits are exceedingly rare. This work was painted to commemorate the marriage of William Holborn Fyfe - a successful Renfrewshire ship chandler and a family friend of the artist. A companion portrait of his bride, Mary Mitchell, was also painted by Fleming.

William Holburn Fyfe was born on 5 July 1812 in Greenock, Scotland, son of John Fyfe of Port Glasgow and Elizabeth Holburn. Fyfe became a highly successful ship chandler in Greenock, supplying the countless merchant ships in the Port Glasgow area. This portrait was commissioned by his father in the year 1837 for the occasion of William's marriage on the 11th of June 1837 to Mary Mitchell, at the East Parish of Greenock. By Mary, his first wife, he had one son - Hugh Mitchell Fyfe - who continued the business after William's death in 1868.

SOLD

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Anton Bertzik

(Austrian, fl.1850-1899)

A Morning Walk - Spring

Im Frühling

Portrait of a young beauty in Renaissance costume

holding a gilly-flower

circa 1880

 signed 'ABertzik' lower right

Oil on cradled mahogany panel

15 1/2 inches by 12 inches (19 1/2  inches by 16 inches framed)

In a carved and gilt wood frame with provenance details to the reverse.

Provenance:

Noyes & Blakeslee Gallery (Boston) 'Valuable Paintings of The Modern School of Art', March 12 1885, lot 70 "ANTON BERTZIK, A morning walk - Spring";

with Nash Fine Art Galleries (London), 1933

Private Collection, Toronto, Canada from 1933-2018

Painted with the 'precise regard for detail' for which Anton Bertzik became well known, the lady represented here holds a red gilly-flower (carnation) which has, since Shakespearean times, symbolized betrothal and marriage.  The subject is depicted three-quarter length wearing a velvet hat with ostrich feathers atop a bejewelled and pearl-encrusted headdress. She is attired in a high-collared jacket with puff-and-slash sleeves over a fur-trimmed stomacher finishing around her neck in an embroidered gold and black band. A marriage pendant hangs from an ornate guirlande chain with large Baroque pearls echoed by a drop pearl, enamel and gold filigree necklace. She stands in a wooded landscape by a stream.

Bertzik worked in Austria between 1856-1899 painting in the Dutch Renaissance style. He exhibited for many years at the Munich Fine Art Society. A pupil of Menzler.

Please see the painting below for a profile depiction by Bertzik of the same sitter

SOLD

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Anton Bertzik

(Austrian, fl.1850-1899)

Profile of a young beauty in Renaissance costume

circa 1880

 signed 'ABertzik' upper left

Oil on Panel

7 inches by 5 1/4 inches (9  inches by 7 1/4 inches framed)

In a period carved and gilt wood frame with provenance details to the reverse.

Provenance:

Private Collection, Toronto, Canada

SOLD

 

Sir Cecil Beaton, cbe

(British, 1904-1980)

Portrait of Evelyn Vernon Johnson,

wife of Robert Wood Johnson,

attending The Princeton Opera

half length, in a red cloak

circa 1950

 signed 'BEATON' upper right

Oil on Board

19 inches by 16 inches (23 inches by 20 inches framed)

In a period carved and gilt wood frame with provenance details to the reverse

Provenance:

The Estate of Robert Wood Johnson (Princeton, NJ)

Commissioned by Robert Wood Johnson of Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals, this striking portrait of his second wife was painted circa 1950, when Beaton spent the summer vacationing at the Johnson's Princeton, New Jerseyestate.

This three-quarter length portrait depicts Evelyn Vernon Johnson in a red silk opera cloak and carrying a fan, before attending the Princeton opera. In the 1950s Beaton produced many of his most famous portrait photographs of women including Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and Ingrid Bergman. He painted Pablo Picasso and Rex Harrison in a very similar style to the work presented here.

 

Beaton is one of the most celebrated portrait photographers of the 20th century, and is renowned for his images of elegance and glamour in painting, photography and costume and set design, the latter for which he won two Academy Awards, in 1964 for My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn, and in 1957 for Gigi with Leslie Caron. As official photographer to the British Royal family, he was knighted in 1972.

SOLD

John Thomas Seton (1738-1806)

Self portrait circa 1775