Circle of David Allan British, (1744-1796) Portrait of Samuel Athawes Oil on canvas Image size: 29½ inches x 24½ inches Size including frame: 34 inches x 29 inches Provenance: By descent of the family of the sitter. A well-executed half-length portrait of a gentleman of means, circle of David Allan. The sitter is Samuel Athawes the son and successor of Edward Athawes, a prominent London merchant trading in Virginia. He was born on 11 September 1734 and attended the Merchant Taylors’ School, London. His family firm had long acted as agent for the Fairfax family and he corresponded with George Washington on a number of occasions regarding tobacco shipments prior to the American Revolution. Before 1775, he visited Virginia and erected a memorial stone for his father at the Gloucester County Cemetery. Samuel Athawes is buried in Boxley, Kent. The portrait has clearly been painted by an artist of great ability in a similar style to David Allan. David Allan was a Scottish portrait and genre painter. He attended the Glasgow Academy of art and won the patronage of Lord Cathcart. In 1764 he travelled to Rome to study under Gavin Hamilton. He later became director and master of the Edinburgh Academy of Arts. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and produced illustrations for James Macpherson’s Ossian poems. The painting is housed in its original period carved black frame, which is in excellent condition.
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