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  • Design Credit: Elizabeth Roberts Architec̦ture & Design, Photo Credit: Dustin Aksland. Dimensions: H 60 in. x W 54 in.
  • Design Credit: Timothy Godbold, Photo Credit: Karl Simone. Dimensions: H 60 in. x W 54 in.
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Unknown
Family Portrait of Four Children in a Country Landscape

Circa 1810

$175,000 Asking Price

About

Since British folk, or non-academic, art has not been codified nearly to the extent that the parallel expressions in the United States have been studied and published, it is not possible to make an attribution of this remarkable group portrait of four children to a specific artist, or even assign it to a unified group of paintings in the way that Ammi Phillips’ portraits were originally given to the Border Limner for his early works, and to the Kent Limner for his later works, before the entire range of Phillips’ work was recognized. The four children depicted are placed in a verdant landscape, in which is seen, in the right distance, a country house surrounded by a covered porch, as well as other houses, a chapel, stone walls, and an iron gate, all trappings of a country estate of the period. One clue to the identity of the subjects is an inscription on the stretcher, not on the back on the stretcher, but on the front, which became visible only when the painting was removed from the stretcher. What exactly “Mr J Bennett / Mr. Harding’s / Watchmaker” means is not clear, but the location at Dursley, a market town on the edge of the Cotswolds, in Gloucestershire, England, seems more certain. An inquiry to Dr. David Rice, curator of the Museum of Gloucester, in the neighboring town of Gloucester, brought the information that Mark Harding is recorded as a watchmaker and toy dealer in Dursley in 1820, and, likely not coincidental, that the Gloucestershire Directory of 1820 lists, among the residents of Dursley, the “Rev. William Bennett, ‘Master of the Commercial School, The Parsonage’.” Gerry Pierce, ex-Mayor of Dursley, adds the fact that Harding resided on Silver Street, in Dursley. Despite the fact that little has been published on English folk, or naïve, painting, that was the parallel of the work of our own Erastus Salisbury Field, Ammi Phillips, John Brewster, and an army of other painters who depicted many Americans during the later eighteenth and well into the nineteenth century, clearly a “school” of such artists existed in England just as it did in the United States. Our John Bradley (active in the United States, about 1832/33047), for example, began his career in England, and a half-dozen or so portraits painted by him in England have come to light and are essentially in the same manner as those he painted in and around New York City after he arrived in the United States (see Mary Childs Black and Stuart P. Feld, “Drawn by I. Bradley from Great Britton,” The Magazine Antiques 90 [October 1966], pp. 501-09). The present painting has survived in remarkable condition. It has never been lined, which is extremely unusual for a painting of this size and age. It has recently been lightly cleaned. It retains its original gilded cove frame with leave corners. CONDITION: Excellent. Never lined. Original frame.

Details

  • Creation Year
    Circa 1810
  • Dimensions
    Height: 60 in. (152.4 cm)Width: 54 in. (137.16 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    Seller: HA 6988/21stDibs: LU237922162

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About the Seller
5.0
Located in New York, NY
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