Historical Portraits Sold at Toovey’s

Henri-Pierre Danloux – Louis Antoine de Bourbon, duc d’Angoulême (1775-1844) and Charles Ferdinand d’Artois, duc’ d’Berrie (1778-1820), Sons of Charles X, King of France, a pair of oval oils on canvas laid onto panel, one signed and dated 1797, each 24cm x 18.5cm

A pair of remarkable portraits have just sold at Toovey’s for £15,000.

The portraits are by Henri-Pierre Danloux (1753-1809) who in 1792 moved to London escaping the French Revolution.

They depict Louis Antoine de Bourbon, duc d’Angoulême (1775-1844) and Charles Ferdinand d’Artois, duc’ d’Berrie (1778-1820), the sons of Charles X, King of France and provide a window into history. Charles and his eldest son, Louis Antoine would both eventually be forced to abdicate in favour of Louis Phillipe de Orléans.

Louis Antoine accompanied and advised his uncle, Louis XVIII. He was twice forced into exile in Britain, and twice he fought in the Napoleonic wars, the second time with Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo.

Danloux was influenced by fashionable English portrait painters like Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), John Hoppner (1758-1810) and George Romney (1734-1802). He exhibited at the Royal Academy in London which brought commissions from a number of British patrons.

Danloux would return to Paris in 1801 and continue to paint until his death in 1809.

Toovey’s picture specialist, Tim Williams with one of the Henri-Pierre Danloux portraits

Charles Philippe, Count d’Artois and later King Charles X of France, arrived in Scotland with his sons and established an émigré court at the Palace of Holyrood, Edinburgh. Danloux travelled from London to Scotland to paint the portraits of his fellow countrymen. His portrait of Louis Antoine was engraved by Philipp Audinet in 1799 (an example can be found at the National Portrait Gallery, London). Versions of both portraits by Danloux can also be found in the collection of the Palace of Versailles,. The portraits sold at Toovey’s were gifts from the sitters to Lord Adam Gordon (1726-1801) commander-in-chief of the forces of North Britain, and remained with the family. Lord Gordon had greeted d’Artois and his sons at the quayside on their arrival in Edinburgh where half of the city had turned out to witness the spectacle. Danloux also painted a portrait of Lord Gordon in 1799 which is now in the collection of the National Galleries Scotland.

It is always special to discover works that are fresh to the market like these. Toovey’s next sale of fine paintings will be held on 17th May 2023 and entries are still being invited.  If you would like advice on you paintings collection contact Tim Williams at Toovey’s.

Juan Manuel Blanes World Record at Toovey’s

Juan Manuel Blanes’s Gaucho on Horseback in a Uruguayan Prairie Landscape, oil on canvas, circa 1875-1878

A major work by Uruguay’s most important painter Juan Manuel Blanes of a Gaucho has just broken the world record at auction selling for £1.15 million at Toovey’s.

Rupert Toovey said “I have known the painting for many years but congratulations must go to our fine art consultant Tim Williams whose exceptional research and tenacity in contacting collectors across the world has made this remarkable result possible, and Nick Toovey who conducted the auction.”

Toovey’s fine art consultant Tim Williams with Juan Manuel Blanes’s important painting Gaucho on Horseback

Tim Williams commented “Juan Manuel Blanes [1830-1901] is renowned for painting grand history paintings and portraits, as well as scenes and events that shaped Uruguay’s national identity during the years of conflict that resulted in independence from Spain.”

He continues “The Uruguayan municipal gallery in Montevideo is named Museo del Bellas Artes Juan Manuel Blanes and houses the largest collection of the artist’s work.”

Tim’s research revealed the painting’s remarkable provenance. The first owner of the painting was the notable Spanish aristocrat Baldomero Hyacinth de Bertodano, 7th Marquis de Moral. He lived at Cowbridge House near Malmsbury in Wiltshire and the painting hung there until his death in 1921. The contents of Cowbridge House were auctioned to divide the estate between five family members. The painting was included in the sale. Described as ‘A fine Oil Painting, The Gaucho on the Pampas in Argentine about 52 by 46 ins’. Baldomero’s brother, Charles Edmund de Bertodano, a notable Railway engineer, purchased the painting from the auction and it remained with his family to the present day.

Thought originally to be an Argentinian landscape the painting sold by Toovey’s actually depicts a Uruguayan scene with a Gaucho on horseback pointing, as two horsemen gallop away on the horizon. The golden glow of Blanes’ palette and the way that he paints the effect of light playing on the prairie is remarkable.

Tim explains “Blanes’ Gaucho paintings celebrate the way of life of these independent, rugged horsemen whose lives embodied the South American ‘Wild West’ and national identity in a similar way to the cowboys of the United States. The open prairie beneath an expansive sky would have contrasted with the pressured urban lives of the cosmopolitan collectors who patronised Blanes’ work.”

Toovey’s Chairman, Rupert Toovey with the World Record Breaking Blanes Gaucho

Commenting on the result Rupert Toovey said “This is the first time that this important painting has appeared on the market in some 102 years. A hammer price of £1.15 million is a new world record and I am delighted that the painting has been acquired by a private Uruguayan collector.”

Watch the auction below:

Lost Work by George Romney Discovered in West Sussex

Toovey’s Fine Art consultant, Tim Williams, with the re-discovered portrait of Lady Laetitia Beauchamp-Proctor by the important English artist George Romney

A lost work by the important English artist George Romney (1734-1802) has been newly re-discovered in West Sussex by Toovey’s Fine Art consultant Tim Williams. Romney was the most fashionable artist of his day and this portrait is to be auctioned at Toovey’s with an estimate of £8000-£12000 on 16th February.

The painting has been in the vendor’s family since the day it was painted, the sitter being a direct ancestor of the owner’s late husband. It is not recorded why but the painting had been previously attributed to Angelica Kauffman sometime before 1915. At that time it was in the possession of Rev Sydney C. Beauchamp. A letter written in 1915 by Rev Beauchamp describes that he had fallen on hard times and was prepared to sell the painting to his cousins for £50 on the proviso that he had the option to buy it back if his fortunes improved. Evidently his fortunes did not improve and the painting has remained in his cousin’s family until now.

Toovey’s Fine Art consultant Tim Williams says ‘I was immediately struck by the quality of the painting when I saw it at the client’s home. I thought it had some compositional similarities to Kauffman’s work, but my gut reaction was that it was by George Romney. I initially contacted the notable Kauffman scholar Dr Professor Wendy Wassyng Roworth who felt the treatment of the subject wasn’t quite right for Kauffman and also suggested Romney as the artist. I wrote to Alex Kidson, the leading authority on Romney, who confirmed that it was indeed by Romney and there was a considerable amount of supporting evidence. The date it was executed was recorded in Romney’s ledgers, as well as the cost of framing. It had been included in Alex Kidson’s scholarly catalogue raisonné of the artist but its whereabouts were unknown and the sitter’s identity was conflated with that of her sister. Alex had never seen an image of the portrait and was as excited as me about its re-discovery. It is rare to have such comprehensive provenance for a portrait of this date.’

George Romney – Portrait of Lady Laetitia Beauchamp-Proctor, oil on canvas, circa 1780

Tim explains how the portrait of Lady Laetitia Beauchamp-Proctor, née Johnson, had originally hung at her sister’s home, Langley Park in Norfolk. It is possible that the same picture is recorded hanging in her brother in law, Sir Thomas Beauchamp-Proctor’s drawing room in 1829 as noted in John Chamber’s ‘A General History of the County of Norfolk’ which was published in 1829 by John Stacy in London.

George Romney recorded Lady Beauchamp-Proctor’s seven sittings between 20th July and 16th August 1780, and the 18 guinea fee was paid to the artist on 5th May 1781. It was sent to Thomas Allwood for framing and is recorded in his framing book as ‘an oval 3/4 at a price of £2 12s 6d for Lady Beauchamp Proctor’.

Tim Williams concludes excitedly ‘This is the first time that this portrait has ever appeared on the market – almost unheard of for a 242 year old painting.’

View the lot here.

Hogarth and his Contemporaries

William Hogarth, Marriage A-la-Mode: 2, The Tête à Tête, 1743/45 © The National Gallery, London

William Hogarth (1697-1764) has been described as one of Britain’s most important artists. His work is the subject of a major exhibition at Tate Britain which opens next week. This beautifully conceived show places Hogarth’s work in the context of his British and Continental contemporaries.

Hogarth’s satirical commentary on the excesses of dissolute lives in 18th century English society are defined by the strength of their pictorial narratives, and though the figures depicted are often caricatures they are also examples of portraiture of the highest order.

Hogarth’s own father underwent periods of mixed fortune and at one time was in debtor’s prison. This experience perhaps lends Hogarth’s work its uncompromising edge in his series of satirical social commentaries which included A Harlot’s Progress, A Rake’s Progress, and Marriage A-la-Mode, a scene from which you see here titled The Tête à Tête.

The couple are clearly disinterested in each other. The wife sits in an un-ladylike pose. Her attire and the look on her face implies her infidelity. In contrast her husband sits dolefully and impotent whilst the steward, dressed as a pious Methodist, walks away with a look of disapproval and a ledger under his arm which we are to presume is full of unpaid accounts. The picture is filled with hidden references to the couple’s dissolute lives and its emerging consequences.

William Hogarth was not only a painter but a printmaker and it was through his prints that his popularity grew making him perhaps the most significant English artist of his generation.

The exhibition highlights the influence of French and Italian painting and engraving on Hogarth’s work.

William Hogarth, The Painter and his Pug, 1745 Tate

I love the indifference of Hogarth’s pug as he sits before his master’s self-portrait. It gently illustrates Hogarth’s wit and realism.

Hogarth objected to slavishly pandering to his patron’s demands which he called phizmongering. The remarkable un-finished sketch Heads of Six of Hogarth’s Servants is my favourite in this rich exhibition. It illustrates the artist’s absolute gift and delight in portraiture at a democratic level. There is such insight into the sitters’ characters and concerns, reverence without caricature. Mrs Hogarth kept the painting in her possession at their Chiswick home until her death.

William Hogarth, Heads of Six of Hogarth’s Servants, c 1750/5, Tate

This welcome exhibition at Tate Britain provides a refreshing narrative for William Hogarth, his times, his contemporaries and his work. To book your tickets visit www.tate.org.uk